Our ocean has been in a crisis state for a long time. The pandemic has unfortunately brought more plastic and other trash into the ocean. The Guardian and other news outlets explain how face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer bottles are adding to the usual mix of trash in the sea. Each year, there are 8 million metric tons of plastics found in the ocean. On top of that, plastic and other trash typically take a long time to break down.
How Long Does Trash Last?
Here’s a breakdown of how long trash lasts according to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
Dumping is only one of the many causes of mass death for fish and marine wildlife. Wastewater disposal, global warming, and nuclear waste are just a few other factors that harm the ocean. Although there are many ways humans contribute to the waste, there are also many ways we can slow down and eventually put an end to this. Using less plastic and opting out of single-use items reduces the amount of plastic produced, used, and trashed.
Beach and park clean ups are also great ways to clean up trash we’ve left behind. Cleaning them up before they can hit the ocean is a great preventative measure. However, there’s still lots left to do to clean up the trash that’s already made its way into the sea. Scientists and inventors have worked hard to find different solutions for our ocean trash crisis.
Florida Panhandle put together an infographic to highlight the wild ways we’re cleaning the ocean. They highlight major inventions along with where, how, and what they clean. Take a look at the infographic below to learn more about how technology is helping us break down and remove the trash.