The Effect of Plastic Pollution on Marine Life

Plastic pollution in the ocean resulted in yet another fatality of a marine mammal. Every year, 100,000 marine mammals are killed from plastic in our oceans.

A sperm whale was found stranded on a beach in the Southeastern coast of Spain in February and its autopsy revealed it died due to plastic pollution.

The ten meters long male was unable to digest the sixty pounds of plastic waste found in its stomach, the report indicated. Garbage bags, fishing nets and other waste led to the death of this mammal considered vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Whales are particularly vulnerable because they can confuse this waste with food when it comes to the surface.

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The consequences of marine pollution on animals are shocking: every year 100,000 marine mammals die from plastic pollution. Marine birds are also victims of this phenomenon: one million seabirds every year are victims of it. It has become impossible to ignore the seriousness of ocean pollution.

Big Blue works relentlessly on fighting ocean pollution by implementing logistics of cleanup teams and equipment on the world’s worst affected beaches.

But without becoming a committed ecologist, simple changes in your daily life helps reduce plastic waste in the ocean. Here are a few…

Get a reusable plastic or steel bottle! Plastic bottles represent a large part of pollution in our oceans and are ingested by marine mammals or accumulated on beaches. They can take up to 1000 years to degrade.

Say no to single-use plastic items such as straws, cups or plastic bags! By simply refusing these small items, we can reduce our consumption of plastic significantly.

Don’t throw your cigarette butts anywhere. When taking a walk, the number of cigarette butts we encounter is alarming. Did you know that a single one pollutes about 500 litres of water? So put them in your pocket until you find a trash can and don’t throw them in the streets or on the beach!

Collect trash on the beach! Big Blue organise beaches cleaning events and educate people on plastic pollution but it is not necessary to attend these events to be helpful. Picking up a few items when walking on the beach, or elsewhere, is a small gesture that helps a lot. You might be surprised to see that a simple thing as such set the example to others who might do the same!

By Amina Sahbegovic

 
Rory Sinclair