Can you dump human waste in the ocean?

Ocean pollution solutions

Improperly disposed land-based debris, packaging and litter account for 80% of the aquatic litter found on beaches during cleanups and surveys.

In addition, one to two-thirds of the trash we sort on beaches consists of plastic, disposable and single-use packaging from food and beverage related products and services (cups, bottles, straws, utensils and mixers). The other 20% (one-fifth) of the items that make up marine debris correspond to losses at sea from accidental or intentional discharges from vessels circulating the oceans and from equipment and traps that are lost or abandoned.

Of all the garbage, plastic debris has the greatest potential to harm the environment, wildlife and humans. They are found floating on the surface, suspended in water columns or on the bed of almost all bodies of water. They are carried by rivers to the ocean where they move with the currents and are often eaten by birds and fish, which concentrate toxic chemicals in their tissues, fill their stomachs and cause them to starve. Aquatic plastic trash is much more than just an aesthetic problem.

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EnvironmentMarine pollutionPlastics have already conquered the most remote and inaccessible places on the planet. Meanwhile, an international treaty to regulate pollution gains momentum. By National Geographic Staff WriterPlastic bottles fill Madrid’s Cibeles fountain during an exhibition drawing attention to the environmental impact of disposable plastics.Photo by Randy Olson, National GeographicJune 20, 2016. Updated November 26, 2021.

Plastic already inundates the most remote places on the planet and, closer to our borders, accounts for 95 percent of the waste in the Mediterranean Sea, whose pollution hogs the highest density of floating microplastics in its waters. Until recently, scientists believed that ocean plastic pollution came mainly from 20 rivers. However, a study published in May 2021 found that the plastic flooding the oceans comes from more than 1,000 rivers around the world, complicating potential solutions. Due to the vastness and depth of the oceans, man believed he could use them to dump garbage and chemicals in unlimited quantities without major consequences.

Ocean plastic and its pollution

Land-based debris, packaging and improperly disposed of waste, packaging and residues account for 80% of the aquatic litter found on beaches during cleanups and surveys.

In addition, one to two-thirds of the trash we sort on beaches consists of plastic, disposable and single-use packaging from food and beverage related products and services (cups, bottles, straws, utensils and mixers). The other 20% (one-fifth) of the items that make up marine debris correspond to losses at sea from accidental or intentional discharges from vessels circulating the oceans and from equipment and traps that are lost or abandoned.

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Of all the garbage, plastic debris has the greatest potential to harm the environment, wildlife and humans. They are found floating on the surface, suspended in water columns or on the bed of almost all bodies of water. They are transported by rivers to the ocean where they move with the currents and are often eaten by birds and fish, which concentrate toxic chemicals in their tissues, fill their stomachs and cause them to starve. Aquatic plastic trash is much more than just an aesthetic problem.

Causes of Ocean Pollution

In recent days, the organization Operation Mer Propre Sea (Operation Clean Sea) released a video showing that this waste has already reached the Mediterranean Sea, showing that so far there is no appropriate treatment, said the coordinator of the Sea Turtle Information Bank (BITMAR).

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According to the United Nations (UN), the oceans occupy three quarters of the Earth’s surface, contain 97 percent of the planet’s water and absorb around 30 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by humans, cushioning the impacts of global warming.

Ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms or red tides, microplastics, eutrophication (excess nutrients in coastal and marine environments from anthropogenic sources), the dumping of chemicals such as heavy metals and metalloids or organic compounds from petroleum hydrocarbons and pesticides, among others, together with the effects of climate change, are stressors to the oceans.