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How Much Plastic Is In the Ocean 2023

a flock of seagulls flying in the sky

Nobody wants to acknowledge that all modern conveniences people enjoy, rife with disposable products, come with a lasting waste legacy. Indeed, the world has a plastic in the ocean issue that cannot be ignored. The ocean’s health is no less important than the health of life on earth and has a tremendous impact. For decades, plastics have been being dumped into the oceans without regard to its impact on the ocean or the world.

How Much Plastic Is in Our Oceans Now?

You must think about trillions to know how much plastic is in the ocean. There are more than 5.25 trillion macro and micro pieces of plastic in the oceans. That equates to 46,000 pieces per every square mile of ocean. Every day, it’s estimated that eight million new pieces of plastic are dumped into the oceans.

How Many Marine Animals Are Killed by Plastic Every Year?

a flock of seagulls standing next to a body of water

Scientists estimate that more than one million marine animals are killed yearly by plastic pollution in the ocean. This includes mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds. It’s essential to recognize that this number reflects the deaths of the animals that people are aware of and that it is likely more significant due to the others that just haven’t been witnessed. 

Marine life suffers the effects of plastic in many ways. They can become entangled in it or choke on it. When it is ingested, it can cause suffocation, starvation, and drowning. Endangered wildlife, such as the Hawaiian monk seals and Pacific loggerhead turtles, eat and get caught in plastic debris.

How Much Plastic Do We Produce Each Year in the US & Globally?

Every year, the United States generates 40 million tons of plastic waste. An analysis has found that America produces more plastic waste than any other nation. The world is estimated to produce more than 380 million metric tons of plastic waste annually. These numbers keep growing exponentially, and it is predicted that by 2050, global production of plastic waste will exceed 26 billion metric tons.

What Is the World Doing To Stop the Plastic Pollution in the Ocean?

a group of people that are standing in the water

Some entities and organizations have taken up the cause for cleaner oceans. The United Nations Environment Assembly has agreed to develop a legally-binding treaty to end plastic pollution.

Ocean Cleanup is a Dutch non-profit organization aiming to eliminate 90 percent of the ocean’s floating plastic. Likewise, the Surfrider Foundation seeks to address plastic pollution, ocean protection, and coastal preservation. Other organizations that work toward these noble goals include:

  • Sea Life Trust
  • Coral Reef Alliance
  • Clean Ocean Action
  • Marine Conservation Institute     

Governments and other agencies are trying to teach people how to live without using as much plastic as they’ve become accustomed to. Some corporate elements are also involved in trying to clean up the oceans.

Facts You Didn’t Know 

Did you know the ocean is a major contributor to the world’s economy? Indeed, 90 percent of trade employs sea routes, which generates millions of jobs.

Fifty percent of the world’s plastic is single-purpose, meaning that it serves a purpose measured in minutes or days and then takes hundreds of years to decompose.

Only nine percent of the world’s plastic is recycled, while every minute, the equivalent of two garbage trucks full of plastic, is dumped into the ocean.

The world’s oceans help humanity to survive. Besides generating most of the oxygen that everybody breathes, they feed people and regulate the climate. Without healthy oceans, the world will suffer. As scientists have long known, life can flourish without land but cannot exist without oceans. Book a sailing charter today to get out on the water yourself and commune with the endless blue pastures of the sea.