Posts tagged: ocean

Top 10 Trash Found In The World’s Oceans

Top 10 Trash Found In The World's Oceans
Top 10 Trash Found In The World’s Oceans. Graphic ©

In one of its “International Coastal Cleanup (ICC)” reports, the Ocean Conservancy compiled a top 10 list of litter collected in waterways and beaches around the world. [1]

1. Cigarette Butts (2,117,931): As a lot of trash finds its way to the oceans through sewers and drainage, it is no surprise that cigarette butts make this list. Millions of people smoke multiple cigarettes a day which are then tossed away casually. Through drainage and gutters, these cigarettes end up in the oceans.

2. Food Wrappers/Containers (1,140,222): The worst part about most of these food wrappers is that they are not bio-degradable. A rise in the fast-food industry has largely contributed to this with single-use containers being disposed of in large numbers.

3. Plastic Beverage Bottles (1,065,171): Tying into plastic food wrappers, most (if not all) plastic soda and water bottles are not bio-degradable – and their sale is increasing.

4. Plastic Bags (1,019,902): Plastic bags that are used to package food end up in the ocean, entangling the wildlife and even choking them.

5. Caps/Lids (958,893): Plastic bottle caps may not seem like a big deal but they are dangerous in their numbers. Add that to the fact that they can be easily swallowed – and the danger levels multiply.

6. Cups/Plates/Cutlery (692,767): Thumbs down to manufacturing and packaging companies using non-bio-degradable plastics. These utensils may pose a physical threat to birds and marine life.

7. Straws/ Stirrers (611,048): While they are being phased out, the impact of plastic straws on our oceans is still noticeable.

8. Glass Beverage Bottles (521,730): As high as this number looks, it does not tell the whole story. Glass bottles sink to the bottom of the ocean – where they are hard to retrieve but still pose a risk to marine life. And did you know they can take 1 million years to break down?

9. Beverage Cans (339,875): Metal beverage cans are lined with sharp edges that may pose physical harm to animals – yet they line the ocean floor.

10. Paper Bags (298,332): An often overlooked pollutant, paper bags as detrimental to the environment as much as plastics bags.


[1] Ocean Conservancy

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Top 10 Trash Found In The World's Oceans
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10 Things You Can Do For Trash Free Seas

10 Things You Can Do For Trash Free Seas
Graphic: © Image source – Pixabay (PD).

Over 8 million tons of plastic trash is deposited in our oceans every year. [1] But this is not just from trash “thrown into the ocean”. Once trash finds its way into streams and rivers, perhaps washed there after a storm, it very often finds its way down to the sea. If this trend continues, the plastic waste could be equivalent to 33% of all fish mass in a few years. To curb this terrible, civilization-endangering trend, every one needs to take proactive action against trash:

1. Can It: Dispose of your garbage properly by throwing it in bins that have lids. This prevents lightweight plastics from being blown away.

2. Avoid Bottled Water: Plastic bottles are one of the main trashes in the oceans. Rather than create demand by buying bottled water, drink tap water.

3. Stow It: In line with Ocean Conservancy’s Good Mate Program, practice sustainable boating practices while out on the sea.

4. Request Change: Actively push your legislators to enforce healthy, environmentally-friendly, and sustainable policies.

5. Remove It: Join beach clean-up initiatives to help raise awareness on the impact of plastic pollution.

6. Butt Out: Cigarette filters are the most abundant litter in the oceans. Practice proper disposal habits by using an ashtray, rather than flinging the butt haphazardly.

7. Recycle It: Sort and recycle plastics to minimize the number of items that are dumped in landfills and oceans. This reduces pollution and helps save natural resources.

8. Reuse It: Just like recycling, reusing products saves on energy and fosters a culture of prioritizing durable items over single-use products.

9. Refuse It: Consumers don’t realize that they hold the real power. By reducing the amount of plastic we buy, we can dissuade companies from manufacturing the products.

10. Reinvent It: Advocate for the creation of ocean-friendly materials that have minimal adverse effects on the environment. This includes shunning the reliance on fossil fuels.

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10 Things You Can Do For Trash Free Seas
Graphic © Image source – Pixabay (PD).