Posted: 2019/03/18

Marine Plastic Litter; Away or About?

Youtube link : https://youtu.be/C-aLza0KzmA Marine litter which has been the bane of the shoreline pollution has been thought to almost become an over stretched rhetoric, but available evidence supports otherwise. What would have made a serene and endearing to the eye environment has become a refuse dump. Plastic debris that has found its way to the coastal areas usually remains unattended to by the populace. The ecological implications are indeed far reaching, but one of the apparent disadvantages is that it defaces the environment making it unfit for relaxation and recreation by man. The way and manner the marine environment is abused tends to suggest that water bodies are now seen as trash, a channel of waste disposal, rather than as treasure. Indeed the words have never been truer that ‘when the use of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable’. When locales are questioned about why they dump refuse/debris in the ocean, the common rhetoric is ‘Don’t worry, water will carry it away’. What many have failed to realize is that water has no other sacred destination. As massive as it looks, the ocean doesn’t stretch to space. Therefore, marine debris generally have no other destination but to sink, dissolve , float around, or be washed ashore as in the case of plastics. All of the above have no ecological advantage to either man or marine life. Worthy of note is the fact that man that usually bears a chunk of the brunt of the negative effects of marine litter. We have noted that it affects his recreation, but farther reaching implications such as economic and financial cannot be brushed aside. The disappearance of certain marine species as well as their migration to other less polluted areas is also worthy of mention. The video above answers in part what becomes of plastic litter that is thrown into the ocean. The next time someone tells you ‘water will carry it away’, be sure to ask them ‘to where please’? Graciously furnish them with the answer when you notice they are stuttering. We believe that part of the change we seek will be realized when people come to the realization of the fact that ‘water doesn’t carry anything away’. At best water carries plastic litter ‘about’. Now you know! What would you do different? ESTHER O’TEGA IMAKU, Volunteer, AFMESI NIGERIA