Plastic is smothering our oceans to death. This AfriOceans awareness campaign ad, thanks to Kelsey Egan, highlights this problem and challenges a new way of thinking.
Studies done locally have shown about 3 500 particles of plastic per square kilometer of sea off the southern African coast. In addition, surveys of 50 South African beaches from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town showed that over a five-year period plastic pollution had increased by 190%, and that more than 90% of the articles found on these beaches contained plastic. Plastic is now found on virtually all South African beaches, even the most remote. The shores and oceans of the rest of the world are equally littered with plastic pollution, a deadly killer of millions of marine animals every year.
The ocean is our planets lifeline. It is the very reason why life on earth exists and why we are here today. The ocean produces over 70% of the oxygen that we breathe and provides 96% of the world’s water supply.
There are so many reasons why we should be thankful for the oceans. They provide over 14% of the protein that we consume, from fish as well as absorbs over 30% of the carbon dioxide produced by man, which would otherwise contribute to global warming.
However, the oceans are at breaking point. Every year, over 8 billion tons of plastic is being dumped into the oceans, which is causing unimaginable damage to life under the surface as well as life on land. Not only is the ocean being damaged by plastic, it is also being destroyed by natural causes as well as chemicals penetrating the ocean via surface run-off. The impact of this pollution is having devastating effects on marine wildlife. Did you know that there is over 405 ‘Dead Zones’ spread throughout the ocean? These ‘Dead Zones’ occur due to the sheer amount of chemicals causing nitrification, which in turn, exhausts the amount of oxygen within water in these areas, rendering them inhabitable to life. In the Gulf of Mexico there is approximately 5000 square miles, which is almost completely devoid of life, because of pollution.
There is so much to learn about pollution and how it affects us and once you understand what we are doing to the oceans, there will be nothing stopping you from making the necessary steps to protecting and preserving what we should hold closest to us.
If you would like to learn more, take a look at the amazing infographic below, created by the team at divein.com.