How Much Litter Is In The Ocean? Marine Pollution Facts

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You can easily find plastic trash everywhere, from land to oceans, and rapidly spreading, creating pollution at the extreme. Almost 80% of ocean waste and litter come landfills, and only 20% exists because of water oceans and marine accidents.

The dumping of used plastics, chemicals, and pesticides on land runs off into water bodies like rivers, lakes, and oceans. However, any accidental leakage of oils, gases, chemicals from ships, and containers leads to marine pollution

Thus, all such debris and litter in water disturb the life of marine species like fishes, seabirds, tortoise, etc. Even the threat to aquatic plants is also a significant drawback caused by plastics in the ocean.

On a verdict, there is no proper calculation on how much litter is in the ocean. But still, some recent surveys and studies claim over approx count. Annually, 6.4 million tonnes of plastic is exposed to waterways, which adversely affects the water world. On the estimated ratio, 5.25 trillion of plastic debris is found in oceans, and in upcoming years, it will increase, making oceans worse.

Ocean Peril Due To Plastic Waste

Generally, plastic is manufactured from the mix of chemicals, including cellulose, carbon, petroleum, and natural gas. This human-made creation, known as plastic, is non-degradable and unfavourable for the environment.

However, when microplastics, smaller than 5mm used in body scrubs, detergents, toothpaste, cosmetics, and other plastic used and washed into the water, never get degrade. All such rubbish enters the waterways, pollutes the oceans and seas.

Use of giant fishing nets, generally known as “Ghost Nets,” damaging the life of water species, as choke and tangled them. Moreover, the toxins from that sharp plastic nets intoxicate the marine world to a great extent. Apart from plastic litters, other toxic materials also affect the life of water plants, corals, sponges. The layer of toxins prevents the sunlight and oxygen inside the water.

Furthermore, the adverse effects not only bound within coastal edges, with the flow of waves and wind travels far in oceans. The founding of large plastic islands is also a significant cause of wind and water currents.

Threat Of Microplastics

The time has come when scientists are more concerned and focused on the increasing rate of plastic litter in oceans. When plastic is a dump or reaches into the water, it breaks down into tiny particles due to solar radiation, salt in water, and waves. This all critically affects the marine water as such breakdown exposures toxins as well.

All such plastic tiny fragments in seas and oceans are known as microplastics, which are approximate of 20-50 diameter, even thinner. These small microplastics enter the stomach of fishes, and other marine species, threatening their life at the extreme. Thus cause, ulcers, and in-suffocations to marine animals and prone to death.

Moreover, the spreading of chemicals and other toxins by microplastics also damages the life cycle of aquatic plants. The layer of intoxicating substances on the water surface does not allow sunlight to enter the inner water layers. It thus disturbs the water plants, coral reefs, etc.

Ghost Nets, Kills Silently

Fishing nets are really dangerous and threatening to ocean species, so are known as Ghost Nets. These are actually the old fishing nets, lost nets, or even damaged so discarded in the water. However, all such nets cut the delicate body of fishes, tortoise, and other water mammals. In the past recent years, much marine wildlife has adversely lost their life due to such big ghost nets.

More harmful is when marine species tangled in nets and gets injured or die, probably threatening the marine world. In fact, toxins released from that plastic fishing nets lead to considerable damage to the quality of water too. The derelict of ghost nets also damages corals and sponge reefs to a great extent.

Harmful For Humans

Recently health issues are increasing among humans, especially due to the severe effects of pollution. Humans created plastics, dumping plastic and harming themself, isn’t that an alarming matter to think twice. 

Even disturbing the life of other living organisms over the planet. For a long time, the exposure of plastics to oceans is increased by humans, in both terms knowingly and unknowingly. With such massive damage to the ecosystem, now humans are looking for more safe and considerable measures. 

The litter in oceans is indigested by fishes, and marine animals enter the food chain of humans as well. The consumption of fishes impacts human health in an unhealthy way, promoting too many ulcers, cancers, and more severe impacts.

On general plastic pollution in water risk human health in many ways, let check some below:

  • Medical waste materials, like used syringes, drips, etc. when exposed to coastal areas, openly cause much harm to humans.
  • The use of tiny plastic particles in scrubs, toothpaste, detergents, etc. can lead to micro debris to water and humans as well.
  • Damaged nets and plastic wastes dumped from ships and ocean carriers and also negatively affected humans.
  • Costal lifestyle, farming is also becoming impossible due to intoxicated water and also harming the soil.
  • Blowing of plastic bags, and materials on farming fences or living zone of livestock are also wrong.

Raising Awareness To Low The Impact Of Litter

  1. It is very crucial to create more awareness among people to know the adverse effects of plastic use.
  2. The best is to avoid unnecessary use or over-use of plastic.
  3. Dumping of plastic waste needs to be adequately treated, and ideal management is also required.
  4. The use of social platforms for creating and engaging the entire world to save the environment and grow plants is a significant step.
  5. Make kids and teens aware of the proper throwing of waste.
  6. More recycle plants need to be established for treating used plastic for the future.
  7. Use more reusable, bio-degradable plastics to save entire ecosystem.


The killing of marine wildlife and the adverse effects of litter in oceans has increased the pollution ratio of the oceans. However, proper awareness and trash management will somewhat lower the pressure of damage and disturbance. 

Ideally, the overuse or no use of single-use plastic need to stop as well. With all such positive thoughts, every individual should join their hands in saving the environment at maximum.

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