Consumer Goods Litter The Ocean and Its Up To You and Me To Make A Difference

Brian Werner | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Some plastic never decomposes
Glass, fish hooks, straws, cans, and other consumer goods take hundreds or even thousands of years to decompose while some plastics will never decompose. Image: Andrew Sheppard | @route370Newfoundland

This has to stop. Common consumer goods that you and I use every day are finding their way to the ocean where they sit and take hundreds, thousands, or even millions of years to decompose, and some plastics and consumer goods never decompose.  Consumers from all around the world use goods such as glass, plastic cutlery, water bottles, cans, and plastic bags, but where do they end up? A lot of this trash ends up finding its way to the Ocean.

According to Marcus Eriksen, Co-founder, and researcher of 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit ocean advocacy group, there are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of debris that float the ocean’s surface. This astronomical number is disturbing especially since the ocean is a huge part of our environment and the health of our planet.

Effects of plastic on the environment
Plastic Pollution Coalition | @PlasticPollution

Did you know a single water bottle can take over 450 years to decompose and those made with Polyethylene Terephthalate will never decompose? This will surely make you think twice about purchasing plastic bottles now, right? Not only do plastic bottles take a long time to decompose, but many other common goods we use take a long time to decompose as well.

Cardboard: 2 Months

Cigarettes: 10 Years

Plastic Bags: 10-20 Years

Drink Cans: 200 Years

Plastic Cutlery: 100-1000 Years

Glass: 4000 Years

Diapers: 450 Years

Fish Hooks: 600 Years

Hydro Cycle
US National Weather Service | @NWSNSRFC

The ocean covers over 70% of our planet and provides most of the water, snow, and food to the continents of Earth. A healthy ocean is vital to the health of our environment and its important that we do our part and recognize the impact of certain consumer goods and do our best to reduce, reuse, and recycle these goods.

So what can you do?

  1. Next time you’re in the grocery store be aware of the packaging of your products.
  2. Re-use products when you can.
  3. Always recycle your plastic, cans, glass, and cardboard.
  4. Educate your friends and family.
  5. Don’t litter and pick up what trash you can.

Remember, change starts with you!

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2 thoughts on “Consumer Goods Litter The Ocean and Its Up To You and Me To Make A Difference

  1. This is a real and important issue but this article sucks. The trash in the ocean is mostly NOT consumer goods, and most trash in the world does NOT find its way to the ocean. You can be accurate and still get people excited for change.

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