Facts about marine litter

Marine litter is considered a great environmental issue.

Do you know why?

Here are some facts to answer this question: 

• Do you know how long it takes for litter to break down in the ocean?
» Paper bus and parking tickets: 2 - 4 weeks.
» Orange and banana peel: up to 2 years.
» Cigarette butts: 1 - 5 years.
» Plastic bags: 10 - 20 years.
» Foam cups and tin cans: 50 years.
» Aluminium cans: at least 80 years. Plastic bottles: 450 years.
» Fine fishing net: at least 600 years (much longer for heavier nets).
» Glass bottles: 1 million years.

• One million seabirds are killed by marine litter every year.

• 100,000 turtles and marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales and seals, are killed by plastic marine litter every year around the world.

• Plastics are the most common man made objects sighted at sea, with 18,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square kilometre of the world's oceans!

• Six million tonnes of debris enters the world's oceans evry year, weighing about the same as a million elephants!

• More than 260 animal species worldwide have become entangled in or consumed fishing line, nets, ropes and other discarded equipment.

• An astounding 86 per cent of all marine turtles are affected by marine debris.

• Every day ships throughout the world discard 5.5 million pieces of rubbish into our oceans.

• Carbon emissions into our atmosphere are killing our coral reefs! Our oceans are absorbing the excess carbon dioxide and becoming more acidic. The acid is literally ‘eating away' the skeleton of the corals.

(Article’s source