Plastic Seashores: The Importance of Recycling Plastics

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20th November 2019

Plastic Seashores: The Importance of Recycling Plastics


With the rise in single use plastics increasing dramatically every year, an immense strain has been put on how local councils, and the government as a whole, are dealing with the increase on plastic waste.

It is estimated that 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans every single day. This plastic is quickly becoming the new sewage. It has become common for plastic pollution to coincide with every coastal activity; surfers, swimmers, sunbathers and even walkers and wildlife watchers expect to see a huge amount of plastic waste.

For every mile of UK coastline, an average of 5000 plastic items have been found. Not only is this a huge eyesore for us; it is devastating to ocean life. And it is not just happening on popular tourist beaches. Plastic is finding its way across oceans and littering the beaches of uninhabited islands across the globe.

A single plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the ocean. Over time it slowly fragments into smaller pieces, eventually ending up as microscopic pieces that never truly disappear from the marine environment. Aquatic life is being poisoned by the consumption of even the tiniest pieces of plastic debris.

To understand the reach that plastic pollution has scientists have looked at plastic content in ocean waters around the world. The Great Pacific garbage patch; a gyre of marine debris was discovered floating in the central North Pacific Ocean in 1985. Since then the patch has grown exponentially year upon year.
The patch contains an exceptionally high concentration of pelagic plastics, chemical sludge and other debris that have all become trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Scientists have also discovered microplastics embedded in deep Arctic ice.

The future of our Oceans is under threat, and the fault is our own. Recycling plants are as important as ever to combat the effects of plastic pollution, and to make sure no more plastic makes it into the environment.