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.
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
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?
- Next time you’re in the grocery store be aware of the packaging of your products.
- Re-use products when you can.
- Always recycle your plastic, cans, glass, and cardboard.
- Educate your friends and family.
- Don’t litter and pick up what trash you can.
Remember, change starts with you!