Increase usage of plastics is one of the biggest problems faced by the environment conservationists these days. In a worrying revelation, a new study suggests that the regular intentional and unintentional dumping of plastics into the oceans is making them enter the food chain via the marine life and humans won't remain unaffected for very long.
According to The Guardian, annually 5-12 tons of plastic garbage enter the ocean, in addition to the 100 to 150 tons of plastic already present there. To be precise, this only accounts for 5% of the plastic waste that enters the oceans. As per the study, if this situation continues, then every three kilograms of fish will be equal to one kilogram of plastic waste.
The study suggests that the most worrying factor is the missing plastic, most of which deteriorates. Instead, it gets into the food chain of the ocean animals and fishes, birds and turtles. Countless deaths are caused by this plastic eating. This mainly happens because, as the study says, sustainable economic growth eclipses the need for the countries to manage waste. Lack of waste collection and proper management impacts public health, food safety and water quality.
According to BBC, various previous studies have also highlighted the problems with the oceans. The researchers are of the opinion that plastic waste is getting into the ecosystem globally and there is evidence of these polymers being gobbled up by the marine life daily.
The main concern that is playing on the minds of the ecologists is that whether the government is taking bold enough steps to clean up the problematic products with safer alternatives by the implementation of robust science. The researchers suggest that one way to do it is if ecologists and engineers work together to understand and eradicate features of products that are harming the environment, boosting ecological impacts.
These findings are alarming for humans as eventually, they consume a major part of these affected sea creatures. A complete ban on plastic is definitely easier said than done, as its usage is an inevitable necessity these days. From the delivery of clean potable water to food preservation and healthcare, plastic has become an essential element of the modern life. However, approaches are being made worldwide to engineer infrastructure ecologically or to produce "biocompatible" medical devices that are less toxic in nature.