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World Oceans Day 2022: Why is Plastic Waste a problem?

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WORLD OCEANS DAY 2022- One of the major natural resources that make planet earth habitable and distinct from other planets, is water. It is present on the earth’s surface in form of oceans, glaciers and other water bodies. Close to 70% of the surface of the earth is covered with oceans which are home to various species of living organisms and plants.

This underwater habitation is crucial for the sustenance of life on the planet as we know it. However, oceans today face a large threat from water pollution and the menace of plastic waste.

In order to spread awareness and start a much-needed conversation about the state of the oceans, June 8 is observed as World Oceans Day. This year the day will be observed with the theme of Revitalization: Collective Action for the Ocean.

Although ocean water is not fit for drinking purposes, it still is a precious natural resource for the human species. The oceans produce the single most important element for survival, oxygen. Nearly 50% of the oxygen on the planet is produced through the oceans. Hence, it becomes important to check any disturbance to this ecological balance.

Plastics can take up to several years to decompose naturally. Off all the plastic that is used, single-use plastic has the most worrisome impact on the environment. While it’s meant for single-use, it can take several years to decompose and in the process also degrade the land or water. Oceans often become a dumping site for this plastic waste that ends up degrading the quality of water.

Apart from this degradation, the plastics dumped in the oceans go through a process where it breaks down into smaller microplastics.

These minute particles come in direct contact with marine species that mistake them for food and often end up consuming them. But the cycle doesn’t end there. Humans consume these marine species as food and the plastic waste ends up coming back.

The oceans of the planet are on the brink of devastation at our hands and it’s crucial to take a step back and recalculate and contemplate our decisions towards the planet. Its high time we shift to ecological friendly consumption patterns to cut down on plastic production before it limits the future of Earth.

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