What does the ocean mean to you? For some people, it’s the simple pleasure of seaside holidays. Sandcastles, parasols and jellyfish.
Or maybe its depths inspire questioning and curiosity. The ocean deep is, after all, less explored than the surface of the moon. There are creatures in ocean trenches to rival any sci-fi writer's weirdest aliens.
In fact, our planet’s surface is mostly water. Over 70% of the earth’s surface is water, and the oceans hold over 95% of all the water on Earth.
Whatever your perspective on the ocean, we can’t get away from the fact that it’s fundamental to all forms of life on the planet.
Yet, tragically, the ocean is under threat. From marine mammals to seabirds, coral reefs to East Coast beaches, untold damage is being caused across our ocean.
Pollution has infected every corner of the ocean - but most of it is hidden away beneath the surface, or floating in great patches in the Pacific.
Let’s shed some light on marine pollution. When we understand the scale of the problem, it gives us the impetus to do something about it.
That’s why we’ve been beach combing for the key statistics about marine pollution. Arm yourself with the facts, and let’s make pollution all washed up!
Now we understand a little more about ocean pollution and the impact of our plastic addiction, it’s time for a deep dive. Here are 105 ocean pollution facts and statistics that will really make a splash.
105 Ocean Pollution Facts And Statistics
Our ocean is in peril - let’s dive right into the facts and figures that reveal the cresting wave of our plastic catastrophe.
How Much Plastic is in Ocean?
Plastic consumption and pollution are a major contributor to climate change. Our ocean is taking the brunt of our plastic addiction - you’ll be shocked to learn how much plastic is in the ocean.
Major Causes of Ocean & Marine Pollution Statistics
Plastic is all around us - a ubiquitous material in our daily lives. Yet it’s also wreaking havoc on our planet, polluting our world and contributing to climate change. Next time you’re in the supermarket, look around at all the plastic and remember: only 9%, less than one tenth, of plastic is recycled. The rest? It ends up in landfills or worse - our ocean.
The Main Culprits In Ocean Pollution
Surprising Sources Of Pollution
Whilst plastic straws and single-use bottles are well-known culprits of ocean pollution, there are so many ways we impact the ocean every day. Learning about these gives you more opportunity to reduce your impact on the ocean.
What's The Ocean Pollution Impact On Marine Life
We all know that plastic is damaging our planet. From rising global temperatures to fossil fuel consumption, plastic is bad. But do we know the real life impact that plastic has on our beautiful marine life? Let’s step out of the abstract arguments about climate change, and see the true damage that plastic does to life in the ocean.
We’re not just running the ocean by dumping garbage into it. What we take out of our oceans also has a huge effect on the ecosystem. Ocean pollution and overfishing are interrelated catastrophes - a dual assault on our seas!
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
If anything is a wakeup about marine pollution, it’s a floating patch of trash twice the size of Texas! Here are some shocking facts about this trash heap, that’s come to be known as “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch”.
Statistics For Change: How You Can Reduce Ocean Pollution
It’s not all doom and gloom. Whilst our ocean needs our help, there are many steps you can take to reduce your plastic footprint and protect the ocean’s thriving life.
Key Questions About Marine Pollution
What Is Causing All The Damage?
In a word: plastic. And especially single use plastic. The main culprits in marine pollution are single use plastic products. From bottles to bags, to ubiquitous plastic straws, these items often have a lifespan of just a few minutes, before they’re tossed into the trash where they spend hundreds of years decomposing.
Wherever we can eliminate single use plastic from our lives, we can help to save the ocean. With a reusable water bottle, you’ll make a difference with every drink.
What Is The Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
In the northern Pacific Ocean, a series of currents have swirled together to collect millions of tons of trash into a floating landfill. This area, almost twice the size of Texas, contains thousands of tons of fishing nets as well as commercial refuse from North America and Japan. The patch is an indictment of our treatment of the ocean, although it is just one of many ocean trash patches collected in the sea’s gyres.
What Is The Impact of Plastic Pollution On Marine Life?
Our ocean is full of fragile ecosystems and once-thriving life. Now, 9 out of 10 seabirds and one in three seals have plastic in their stomachs, whilst half of all coral reefs have died since 1980. Hundreds of species are being endangered by our plastic addiction. In recent years, the damage has reached new depths - it’s time to break the cycle of marine pollution.
Our ocean contains infinite questions, it’s full of thriving life. And we’ve explored less of the ocean’s depths than we have of the moon’s surface. This incredible environment should be cherished and protected for the life and mysteries that it holds.
Once we recognize the scale of the damage that waste and plastic pollution is doing to our ocean, to everything from the largest whales to the smallest minnows, to seals and seabirds alike, we can start to make changes in our life to protect our seas.
By reducing your plastic consumption and educating your friends and families, we can protect our waters.
If these shocking statistics have made a splash, there’s an ocean of information out there to help you save our seas.
Make 2021 a cresting wave for reducing your plastic consumption. Cowabunga, dude!