With the global population just tipping over seven billion, it is becoming increasingly urgent that we reassess what damage we are doing to our planet. 90 per cent of all rubbish produced by humans is plastic. The majority of this ends up in the oceans, where it breaks down even less easily than on land. The ocean currents that occur naturally to circulate the water mean that the floating rubbish builds up in certain areas causing these rubbish islands to form, which can stretch over several hundred square kilometres.
Not only is the rubbish ruining the aesthetics of our planet, but it also causes a huge threat to wildlife. Birds and fish can become ensnared or swallow something, creating the possibility of choking or of causing damage to their bodies. As well as this, if the creatures swallow the plastic, the man-made toxins in it can cause serious harm to them and even kill them.
Despite efforts to reduce these islands of rubbish, they are continuing to grow in size. It is estimated that the North Atlantic Garbage Patch contains around 200,000 pieces of debris per square kilometre, and that is only on the water’s surface! One thing’s for sure: if we don’t do something about our waste consumption and management soon, it won’t be long until the oceans are completely spoiled.