Could the Great Pacific Garbage Patch be our metaphoric “last straw”?

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Concerns have risen over plastic pollution in oceans. More and more NGOs are trying to work on solutions to this widespread problem. Many have succeeded, many have failed. We are failing our fellow species. How can we put an end to this problem?

Well before, we discuss that, let us see how plastic pollution is caused.

The primary source of plastic pollution are rivers, estuaries, seas and trade channels.

Below is given a world map of plastic generation, according to data sources from Our World in Data and the World Bank.

Primarily; USA, China and Brazil are responsible for the world’s largest plastic pollution metric, followed by Russia, the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, some African nations and European nations.

In the modern times, plastic disposal into the oceans has been banned in almost all countries, and many world organizations and NGOs have developed ways to cut off the disposal limit through technology and awareness.

But a mysterious figure lurks in the darkness of our ignorance.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest collection of floating trash — and the most famous. It lies between Hawaii and California and is often described as “larger than Texas,” even though it contains not a square foot of surface on which to stand. It cannot be seen from space, as is often claimed.

It was discovered in 1997 by a yachtsman by the name of Charles Moore. He found this Godzilla on his way to Los Angeles. 94% of this 79,000 metric ton humongous patch is micro-plastics, consisting of 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic.

Ghostnets, a term coined to describe purposely discarded or accidentally lost netting, drift through the ocean, entangling whales, seals, and turtles. An estimated 100,000 marine animals are strangled, suffocated, or injured by plastics every year.

What next?

A publication found that plastic pollution in the oceans could triple by 2050 unless a “major response” is mounted to prevent plastic from reaching the ocean. The report declared plastic pollution to be one of the main environmental threats to the seas, along with sea-level rise and warming oceans.

It also concluded that plastic pollution is “increasing exponentially at a faster rate than in surrounding waters.”

If we don’t start taking progressive steps towards plastic disposal ASAP, then who knows, another giant patch could form, thus killing more marine animals, birds and posing an everlasting threat to Mother Nature. For one could say, these gargantuan garbage patches could be our LAST STRAW.

For one could say, these gargantuan garbage patches could be our LAST STRAW.

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Founder @CSCult | Polymath | Engineer

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Saud Hashmi

Saud Hashmi

Founder @CSCult | Polymath | Engineer

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