Human activity

Human presence has greatly led to the loss of global ecological diversity, resulting in large water bodies being degraded in a number of ways without regard for the ecosystems they sustain. An estimated 4.8-12 million tons of plastics are thought to have made their way to the ocean as a result of littering and ineffective waste management practices. Marine life is threatened in a variety of forms in the oceans. Among them include overexploitation and harvesting, deforestation, change in global warming et al. Pollution caused by plastic waste is a common form of human impact that has had a negative impact on aquatic life (Liboiron, Max 87). Before delving into the sources, some of the impacts of marine plastic pollution and ways of managing the menace, it is important to understand what plastic entails. Plastics often get regarded as organic synthetic polymers have gained popularity regarding usage over the past century. Due to their versatile nature, they have rapidly been used in almost all aspects of our daily lives scaling from packaging to the clothes we wear. Their lightweight character, as well as durability and cheapness, are some of the characteristics which have made them vastly used in the manufacturing of a broad range of commodities. Over the years, little concern got put on the importance of conserving our water bodies to create a suitable environment for the existence of water creatures not until recently when its seriousness began to get noted. For instance, it was once noted that a member of the British Plastic Federation was once reported saying that plastic was an insignificant element of pollution and therefore had no tremendous effect on the environment. His line of thinking s showed how the possible effects of plastic on the environment got overlooked. Sources of Marine Plastic PollutionIt is noted that about 80% of the plastic debris that deposited in the oceans often come from land-based sources. They includePackagingAveragely 40% of plastics globally produced are often for packaging purposes. A significant portion of these get used in parking foods as well as drinks, and it is all for the good intentions of reducing food waste and protecting the food against contamination. In areas such as Sierra Leone in West Africa depend on plastic papers for packaging water and fact foods. In such scenarios, the use of paper bags turns to be a necessity. In the cases that there is a poorly developed water management system for example at the bitches, these products have their way in the ocean hence constitution marine litter. AgriculturePlastics often get used in several agricultural aspects such as irrigation pipes and planting containers. Reports have noted that these products often end up in the oceans and at times get consumed by marine organisms. The increased use of the synthetic polymer in the encapsulation of fertilizers pellets for controlled release to regulate the number of nutrient concentrations often present in the rivers as well as coastal waters which represents the new methods of plastic usage has contributed to the marine litter burden. Coastal TourismThese facilities often get based on several social amenities such as beaches, food, water et al. These have led to the establishment of premises for example hotels, restaurants, and resorts that have increasingly used plastic products when delivering their services. The waste material in this cases gets disposed on the shorelines hence contributing to marine pollution. Given the variance on the range of activities that take place at these recreational facilities multiple routes by which littering happens. Fiber Releases from Companies The release of fiber from clothing has served as a potential source for the generation of microplastic size material more so In the event of mechanical washing. In as much as a portion of the microplastics will get retained in the wastewater treatment plant of the organization, a significant proportion of these fibers enter the water bodies, and as a result, they often get found along the shoreline and the nearshore sediments that have a location close to urban centers. Terrestrial TransportationA Recent discovery in Germany and the Netherlands established that the plastic dust that is often emitted by tires has greatly contributed to the pollution of water in the sea. Some particles of the tire dust fly to the air then later settles on the road. If there is rain, these particles are drained to the sea through sewers. An estimated amount of 17,000 tons of rubber often get realized to the environment in Dutch. Germany leads with a total quantity of 110,000 and closely followed by Sweden which is at 10,000. The average amount of tire dust that gets released into the environment as mentioned above often ranges 1-1.4 kg capita. Ship MaintenancesShip hulls often require regular cleaning for the purpose eliminating biological growth as well as making it possible for repainting to get done. Traditionally, the process would have involved air blasting by using sand grains. Plastic particles have commonly gotten used in the cleaning process. Such practice has exposed the environment to microplastics such plastic abrasive powder. Which are characterized by polymer base. The commercial ships that often get dismantled in in India, Bangladesh and other South Asian countries contribute to about 70% of marine pollution. China has equally significantly contributed towards water pollution as a result of ship dismantling and maintenance to the tune of 19%. Though this cases plastics represent a small percentage, hazardous substances such as oil enter the seas hence marine pollution. Impacts of Marine Plastic PollutionMarine water pollution has brought about several implications. Among them include.Ecological ImpactsEntanglementMarine debris that often floats on the water results to the entanglement of different animals. There has been a rise in the cases of marine mammal entangled thereby resulting in acute injuries and at times death of the animals (Butterworth, Andy, and Sayer 215). It got noted that humpback whales present in the US waters often show scarring that gets caused by entanglements. IngestionCases of ingestions have been recorded to great extents as having affected marine mammal as well as birds and the fish. The dissection of carcasses in the beach has proved the effect of ingestion to these animals with the little fund serving as a representation of the total number of the animals affected. Tooth whales, as well as tortoises, have in most cases been found possessing an enormous amount of plastic bags in the compartments of their guts. Turtles such as the loggerhead that reside in the Adriatic Sea have in most cases got found with plastic logged in their guts. Loss of IncomeMarine plastic pollution has directly resulted in the loss of income. In this case, the fisheries that get characterized by plastic presences alongside fish catch has often resulted into damaging the fish hence lowering its market value. A lot of time is equally spent on cleaning and repairing of the nets. If consumers have a perception of microplastic preens in the seafood’s, their interpretation has a potential effect of bringing about behavioral change, for example, limiting their consumption of seafood. The overall impact is massive income losses in the seafood industry. Economic Impacts Fisheries and AquacultureMarine plastic pollution has the potential impact of causing enormous damage to the fishing vessels as well as resulting in the massive contamination of the fish caught with the plastic debris. The floating debris in most cases affects the entire cooling system of the water vessels by being entangled in the ship propellers. TourismThe visible presence of plastic waste in the oceans impacts the aesthetic value of the beaches and not limited to their attractiveness. The presence of these marine litters hinders recreational activities for example diving, fouling of the propellers to recreational boats et al., and hence limiting entertainment. The plastic debris in the oceans, therefore, discourages visitors from going to specific beaches. It has an overall effect on reduced revenue as a result of the dropping number of tourists. In the event of a prolonged avoidance of the beaches by tourists, loss of jobs may occur since there is little or no business taking place. Recommendations and SolutionsEducating BusinessesAddressing on the importance of embracing other environmentally friendly alternatives in their entrepreneurial practices is crucial. For example, advising on the usage of biodegradable packaging materials and not plastic bags. Companies can adopt low-cost replacement measures such as using bamboo utensils instead of the plastic ones. By doing this, the amount of plastic in circulation gets reduced significantly hence a drop in their total amount that gets deposited in the marine environmentEducation and Citizen ScienceAddressing concerns regarding marine litter and the consequences. Through this, individuals transform their thinking regarding proper waste management practices and work towards protecting the environment. Successfully attainment of appropriate management of waste requires addressing both the public and institutions as a move to help people change their attitudes. It will make both young and old to get sensitive regarding the health and safety of their environment. Providing Recycle Bins to Public AreasThe establishment of a correct waste infrastructure in public places as well as encouraging people to use the appropriately helps in ensuring that waste materials such as plastic bags and other harmful fabrics get harvested and destroyed. It will minimize the water pollutants from reaching the marines. Through this, the oceans and the water creatures get protected from hazards. Promoting campaigns that target fishing industries on the need to reduce pollution of the water bodies while fishers are in the deep waters. Printing of posters in different languages will ensure that adequate communication regarding pollution of the marines gets addressed and the desired goals get achieved. By doing this, all individual who has access to the water vessels, as well as the botch, became cautious when it comes to waste management. A full adoption of the above suggestions, in the long run, would not only revamp the sanity of our marines but also protect the aquatic life which serves as a source of revenue when traded in the local and international markets. Works CitedButterworth, Andy, and Sue Sayer. "The Welfare Impact on Pinnipeds of Marine Debris and Fisheries." Marine Mammal Welfare: Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare 17 (2017): 215.Liboiron, Max. "Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics." Journal of Material Culture 21.1 (2016): 87-110.

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