Plastic Waste in the Sea: Evaluation of 171+ Statistics

A plastic bag floats in the water on the waves. At the edge of the tide, you can find sunglasses that have become faded by the sea water, some shoes and empty plastic bottles. And in the open sea, artificial islands made of plastic waste float. The pollution of our oceans is frightening and threatens our fragile ecosystem. The staff of BeyondSurfing outdoor and water sports magazine evaluated more than 171 statistics on the pollution of the world’s oceans with plastic waste. It draws a scary budget.

The facts are being evaluated Beyond surfing On the global challenge of polluting the oceans with plastic waste he speaks clear language. It is abundantly clear that action must be taken now if we are to preserve the oceans as an essential part of our worldwide ecosystem for future generations. It is not only about protecting our favorite bays from the plastic waste floating around, but also about the effects of billions of tiny plastic particles on organisms in the sea, which in turn end up on our plates in the context of the global food chain. We’ve compiled key facts assessments from over 170 studies on the topic of plastic waste for SeaHelp readers and show what each individual can contribute to marine conservation.

Plastic waste is the biggest problem

Of all the marine litter examined, plastic, commonly known as plastic, makes up the largest group at about 80 percent. About eight million pieces of plastic end up in the sea every day. That’s more than 12.2 million tons a year! Two thirds of plastic waste comes from municipal and municipal waste. The rest enter the sea through illegal dumping, poorly managed landfills and industries. An estimated 5.25 billion pieces of macro and micro plastic are currently floating at sea. This corresponds to about 269,000 tons of plastic waste.

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Plastic bags are a global challenge

Every second 160,000 plastic bags are used around the world, which is five billion bags annually! About 10 percent of it ends up in our oceans, 300 million in the Atlantic alone – every year! The useful life of a plastic bag, measured in the time it takes for it to decompose back at sea, is impressive. On average, a plastic bag is used for only 12 minutes. However, it takes about 20 years for it to decompose at sea. A plastic bottle carelessly thrown into the water needs 450 years!

Plastic on our plates

This has a huge impact on the fish and mammals in the oceans: one in three fish caught for human consumption contains toxic plastic particles. According to research, seafood lovers eat about 11,000 pieces of toxic plastic every year. Plastic bags are believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 marine animals and more than 1 million seabirds each year. According to current projections, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 at the latest, provided we don’t change our plastic consumption behaviour.

Waste Islands and Dead Zones

The largest garbage island in the ocean has an area of ​​about 1.6 million square kilometres, making it 19 times larger than Austria and five times the size of Germany. Toxin pollution turns the marine environment into so-called dead zones. There are now 500 such dead zones in our oceans, which is the size of the United Kingdom (245,000 square kilometres). In these areas, the oxygen content drops so much that aquatic plants die and marine animals are no longer able to survive there. In addition, toxic microplastics can be detected in more and more fish.

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Fight plastic waste

In order to combat pollution of the seas and actively contribute to the protection of the environment and the seas, each of us is required. Even dispensing with plastic packaging and bags in daily life makes a valuable contribution. However, it is not only the reduction of plastic waste by each individual consumer that reduces the global volume of waste, the removal of plastic waste from river banks and beaches also contributes significantly to the fight against waste in our oceans.

global cleaning day

As a central and global day of action, there World Coast Cleanup DayActivists around the world clean beaches and coasts of trash that has been washed away or inadvertently dumped on their doorsteps. The next coastal cleanup day will take place on September 17, 2022.

In addition, there are many ways to rethink your consumer behavior and thus make a valuable contribution to saving the oceans. We asked the BeyondSurfing crew how they are actively involved in the fight against ocean pollution.

النفايات البلاستيكية في البحر: اليوم العالمي للتنظيف© Alexey | Adobe Stock

Where do water sports enthusiasts in particular encounter plastic waste in the water?
Plastic pollution is a global problem. In water sports, plastic pollution appears in the form of plastic left on beaches or rivers. Canoeers and kayakers who enjoy touring the rivers are especially strongly affected. 90 percent of the world’s marine litter comes from rivers. The rivers most polluted with plastic include the Changjiang River, the Indus River and the Huang He River.

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What can everyone do to avoid plastic waste?
Avoid using plastic products such as plastic bags, plastic straws, etc., and buy products that are not wrapped in plastic whenever possible. When purchasing new products, it is also important to make sure that they have been made as sustainably as possible.

How much do you care about sustainability or more environmentally friendly production when choosing and comparing the products you offer at BeyondSurfing?
At BeyondSurfing we always try to include and deliver environmentally friendly and sustainable products in our product selection. Sustainability is very important to us, which is why we recently joined the ClimatePartner Initiative. Through this, we make a small contribution to offsetting the carbon dioxide generated by our website. We have exactly how this works here described.

The full review of more than 170 studies for the journal BeyondSurfing outdoor and water sports is here assembly and production.

SeaHelp article from 07/25/2021

Plastic Flood: SeaHelp asks not to be careless with plastic waste

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