Illegal plastic dumping is a major source of rubbish on most Australian beaches. A study that Earthwatch Australia, CSIRO, Shell and TeachWild conducted showed that the huge amounts of plastic bottles come with ocean currents. Moreover, the study showed that a larger percentage of the coastal debris comes from Australia and not from the high seas. Illegal dumping and bad consumer behaviours have contributed highly to marine debris.
Plastic water bottles are completely recyclable. Producers use Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics to make them, which break up into tiny fragments with time. The fragments then absorb toxins, which are known to contaminate the soil, pollute the waterways and sicken the animals we eat. The plastic trash mostly absorbs PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyl) and BPA (bisphenol A) and can take centuries to decompose therefore ends up sitting in landfills.
Effects on human health
Various plastics fragments spread in the ocean and Styrofoam breaks into several parts, while the polystyrene in them sinks lower into the ocean so that the pollutants continue spreading in the whole ocean. Apart from affecting the oceans, the pollutants act like sponges and soak up some other toxins from the outside sources before they enter the ocean. The sea animals that ingest the chemicals are not good for human consumption. It is evident that we have been consuming contaminated mammals and fish.
Plastic is dangerous to humans in various ways. The direct toxicity of plastics is related to mercury, cadmium, and lead. Researchers have found the toxins in various fish in the ocean that is more dangerous to humans. Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), which exists in some plastics, is carcinogenic. The other plastics are associated with birth defects, some cancers, childhood development issues, and immune system problems.
The other common toxic plastics include health-bisphenol-A or BPA and phthalates. The two toxins are of greater concern to human health. Manufacturers use BPA in various plastics including food packaging containers and plastic bottles. With time, the BPA polymer chains break down and we can consume them through the contaminated water or by consuming the affected fish. BPA is a known plastic that highly affects the functionality of the human body.
The effects of plastic dumping on sea wildlife
Thousands of sea animals ranging from the blue whale to the small finches die grim deaths after consuming the plastic and being caught in it. Here are some of the sea animals at a higher threat.
Fish alone consume around 12,000-24,000 tons of plastic every year. The plastic can cause internal injuries and death and mostly the plastic ends up in the stomach of the large fish, human seafood eaters and marine mammals.
A sea turtle can mistake the floating plastic for food. That way, they end up choking, sustaining internal injuries and death. The sea turtles mostly starve because they think that they are full after eating the plastic. Most studies show that almost half of the world’s sea turtles have consumed plastic and the pollution on the Australian beaches is badly affecting their reproduction.
Thousands of seabirds consume the dumped plastic each year. The ingestion of plastic reduces their food storage volume and causes starvation. Studies show that nearly 60 percent of all species of seabirds have already eaten plastic pieces and the number is likely to increase to 99 percent by the year 2050. Most of the dead seabirds are usually full of plastic in their stomach, showing us how the dumped plastic on the beaches is ruining the environment.
The marine mammals are the other group that suffers after ingesting plastic. Entanglement in plastic leads to injuries and mortality – packing bands are the commonest entangling materials. The bellies of most dead whales are usually full of plastic.
The effects on oceanic water
The plastic garbage in the ocean does not only harm the marine life but it also pollutes the water. The toxic substances, including Bisphenol, pollute the seawater badly. And because Bisphenol does not dissolve in water, it causes grave environmental issues. Moreover, the debris uses more oxygen as they degrade leaving very low oxygen levels in the water. With low oxygen levels, marine animals like dolphins, whales, and penguins find it hard to survive.
Do not allow the plastic bottles or any other garbage to sit on the beach, your property or home. Paul’s Rubbish Removal is here to help you get rid of rubbish. You just need to call us and we will be at your premises within a few minutes or hours. We have been serving households in Sydney for over 10 years now with vast experience in rubbish removal.
Contact us for reliable and trusted simple rubbish removal of any type on 0407 125 125.
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