Environment

How Ocean Pollution Impacts Marine Life—and All of Us

Much of the plastic we produce ends up in the ocean, where it kills birds, fish, sea turtles and marine mammals.

Environmental Pollution - A discarded white plastic bags drifts over a tropical coral reef
Photo Credit: Richard Whitcombe/Shutterstock

The world’s oceans are a magical, diverse and abundant ecosystem that mankind needs in order to survive. 

The oceans cover over 72 percent of the planet’s surface, provide over 97 percent of the world’s water supply and over 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe.

We have so much to thank the oceans for; however, they are threatened daily by natural and manmade pollution. Ocean pollution comes in many forms, but the largest factor affecting the oceans is plastic.

Over the last decade, we have produced more plastic than we have in the last 100 years. This sharp increase in plastic entering our waters harms not only marine life but also humanity.

Plastic kills fish, birds, marine mammals and sea turtles, destroys habitats and even affects animals' mating rituals, which can have devastating consequences and can wipe out entire species.

Learn more about ocean pollution and how it affects marine life and humanity with the infographic below.

Torben Lonne is the co-founder and chief editor of the online scuba diving magazine DIVE.in. He can be reached at [email protected].

Sign Up!
Get AlterNet's Daily Newsletter in Your Inbox
+ sign up for additional lists
[x]
Select additional lists by selecting the checkboxes below before clicking Subscribe:
Activism
Drugs
Economy
Education
Election 2018
Environment
Food
Media
World