Save our seas from human rubbish
The oceans of the world are filling up with human waste that is destroying sea life at an alarming rate, it’s been revealed.
One British waste management and recycling company says that human activity is almost entirely to blame for a grim death toll as virtually no place on Earth is left untouched by our rubbish.
The situation is made even worse when you take into account that waste can end up being bought, sold and shipped abroad resulting a tons of waste being dumped at sea – either accidentally or on purpose – everyday, BigGreen.co.uk says.
“Most of us tend to forget about our rubbish as soon as it has gone in the bin,” says BigGreen.co.uk spokesperson Mark Hall, “But the truth is that our refuse is steadily killing the planet.”
Citing a recent report by the World Wildlife Fund that says Earth has lost half of its wild animals in the last 40 years, BigGreen.co.uk says that we should all take stock of how we deal with our waste and look for less damaging alternatives.
The three greatest causes of sea life death at the hands of humanity are food, pollution and destruction of habitats, with dumped refuse being one of the major factors in the latter two.
“Managed properly, no British business should need to transport its waste abroad,” says Mark Hall. “We’ve got extensive recycling facilities, and as more energy recovery plants come online, there’s no need to export our rubbish.”
This comes amid news that Denmark takes in 200,000 tons of British waste every year for energy recovery purposes. “That’s refuse that could and should be dealt with at home,” says Hall.
Denmark isn’t the only customer for cargo containers full of British rubbish, with ships crossing the globe carrying waste sold as a commodity.
But it’s not just the risky global trade in rubbish that’s the problem. Even more dangerous is the threat from rubbish being dumped directly into the sea.
Researchers have found human rubbish on even the deepest sea beds around Europe, while what should be spotless beaches on Pacific islands are sometimes knee-deep in plastics.
“If it’s just one person throwing a beer can, or rogue authorities and companies dumping tons of rubbish, virtually all of us bear some responsibility,” says Business Waste’s Mark Hall.
Sea life and birds cannot tell refuse from food, which results in millions of needless deaths every year, often in great pain. Autopsies of dead sea birds have found stomachs so full of plastic that they have starved to death.
There simply has to be tougher global enforcement to prevent marine dumping, says Business Waste. The company says this cannot be done without the major economies of the world taking an immediate lead.
“In 2010, our coalition government say they would be the greenest in history,” says BigGreen.co.uk’s Mark Hall. “We all know that they haven’t delivered on this promise, but it’s not too late for them to take a stand on marine pollution.”
“We’ve got to stop killing our seas, because it could mean the death of us all.”