Why care for the marine ecosystem?
It has come to light more and more over the last two years just how much damage we are doing to our oceans. From the catastrophic plastic problem to the pollution being caused as a result of dumping rubbish straight into the sea. But the effects in the ocean are not all directly associated. What we are doing on land cutting down our trees and clearing vast areas of rainforests, all the carbon emissions, this causes global warming which has a devastating effect. Take coral reefs as a clear example of this, suffering from coral bleaching and a range of diseases which are choking the reefs. We can look at plastic, rubbish and pollution on their own levels.
Plastic has become such an issue that the food we eat obtained from the ocean contains plastic and it is now part of our food chain as well. This article from National Geographic expands on the detrimental effect of being dependent on plastic.
The lifetime of plastic graph within this article shows the alarming spike in plastic use since 1950 and the industries which use them. But the real issue is with single use and the throw away culture we have developed with this. This is how plastic has entered our environment and caused the devastation which it has, still is and still will unless there is a global effort to change.
Rubbish & Pollution:
We all know that it isn’t just plastic which is a problem but general waste. Different products have different rates of decay and some of these are over decades. But even if items decay, the process and the way we dispose of our rubbish is still a major issue and run off from rain can take harmful chemicals with it and have equally if not more devastating effects on the environment than plastic alone. Therefore, we all need a system of waste management personally in our homes, so we can reduce the collection which is required and in turn reducing our throw away culture. We can all use compost bins and throw left over food into one in our garden, so why don’t we? Is there not a strong enough incentive or is it simply not easy enough to manage and so we can’t be bothered.
The trend here is that this is based on mindset and processes and if the processes are in place and everyone is educated to have the right mindset then surely, we can make a difference on this planet and stop the devastating effects that humans are solely causing. But of course, the manufacturers have to change as well, this isn’t about pointing the blame at anyone but everyone taking responsibility for their actions.
The following article is another great highlight of the extent of the issue in our oceans. It shows the diversity of the issue and highlights that it is everyone’s responsibility to make a change not just the few.
Acidification in our oceans is where a lot of coral diseases
develop from and also the toxicity which kills fish. This isn’t from plastic running into the ocean, this is our waste running into the water table and being carried from our rivers on land into our oceans.
Lets all highlight the issues, not point blame wholly on other people but all take our own responsibility for change.