How do ships pollute the oceans?

Today, humanity is actively engaged not onlythe development of drugs for dangerous diseases and space exploration, but also environmental pollution. If the calculations of environmentalists are correct, every year about 12.7 tons of plastic gets into the oceans of our planet, and the greatest amount of garbage settles in the water depths. Part of the plastic waste comes into the water from land, however, recently, scientists from South Africa and Canada found that ships are one of the largest sources of garbage. But how can ships pollute water with plastic? Is that possible?

Plastic bottles decompose from 450 to 1000 years

It turns out that yes. Researchers began to guess about this back in 2009, during a visit to an island called Inaxessible in the North Atlantic. Environmentalists were shocked by the pollution of the island - at least 3,515 units of plastic waste such as bottles and cans were found on its surface. A second visit to the island in 2018 showed that the island became even dirtier and the number of bottles and other waste increased to 8,084 units.

The name of the island of Inaccessible is translated fromEnglish as "inaccessible" because it is surrounded on all sides by rocks. For a long time, its nature remained untouched - this is a favorite place of crested penguins. Now the purity of the island is under threat, however, like our entire planet.

Oceans pollution

The island and its surrounding water began to become far back as the 20th century, as evidenced by a plastic container found on the coast, made in 1971. Many plastic bottles left labels with the names of manufacturers, so scientists easily found out that 75% of plastic waste was made in China. Since even two years have not passed since the day most bottles were produced, the researchers suggested that the garbage could not swim to the island on its own - it would take at least 5 years to cross the path from China to the island. This means that the bottles were thrown out of the ships.

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This is also evidenced by the shape of the bottles -almost all of them were well flattened and tightly corked with lids. As a rule, on ships with plastic garbage they do just that, so that it does not take up much space. According to African ornithologist Peter Ryan, merchant ship leaders should abide by an international agreement and not throw waste overboard. The negative consequence of ignoring the rules can now be seen by visiting the waters of the North Atlantic.

In ships flatten plastic bottles to save space

The danger of plastic trash

Most likely, ships pollute not onlyNorth Atlantic, but also the entire oceans. Moreover, not only merchant ships, but also fishing ships are to blame for the abundance of garbage. The fact is that along with plastic bottles in the water, particles of fishing nets that were carried away from their installation sites are often found. Traps for fish, by the way, today are also made of plastic - in one of our materials we even attached a photograph with a tortoise entangled in fishing nets.

Do you see how polluted nature is? Share your observations in the comments or in our Telegram chat.

According to Professor Peter Ryan, companiesattention should be paid to the problem of pollution of the seas and oceans. Perhaps by strengthening control over waste emissions, the authorities of different countries will be able to slow down the pollution of the oceans. But what to do with the garbage that has already accumulated? The question remains open.