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5 Things You Can Do to Save the Ocean

Have you ever been to the beach and noticed litter, like plastic bottles or foam take-out containers on the sand? Or maybe you’ve been to a river or bay where there’s a car tire or bags stuck in the mud on the shore? TKN reporter Scott reports on a serious growing problem in our oceans: marine debris. An expert from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) tells us Why Marine Debris is a serious problem and what teens everywhere can do to help reduce marine debris. Watch thew full report below.

How Big is the Problem?

  • We have produced more plastic in the past 10 years than during the entire last century.
  • Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
  • 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land.
  • 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface is plastic.
  • There are 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of ocean.
  • At least 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans each year.
  • Plastic makes up 85% of ocean debris.

It Gets Worse.

  • Plastic in the world’s oceans could increase by a factor of 10 in the next decade.
  • More than 260 animal species have become entangled in or consumed fishing line, nets, ropes and other discarded equipment.
  • An astounding 86 percent of all marine turtles are affected by marine debris.
  • One million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
  • 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.

What You Can Do?

So, the good news is there is a solution. You, Me and everyone.

Tip 1: The 3 B’s

  • Bottles: Start lowering your single-use plastic bottles. Use reusable containers.
  • Bags:  Replace plastic with cloth bags.
  • Balloons:  No more balloons.  Replace with bubbles and paper streamers.

Tip 2: Go on a litter cleanup!

  • Don’t litter anywhere! 80% of Ocean Debris enters the ocean from the land.
  • Organize some friends and go on a litter cleanup in your area.

Tip 3: Stop Using Plastic Straws!

  • Drink your beverage without a plastic straw.
  • Request no straw when ordering at restaurants.
  • Use paper and biodegradable straws or reusable metal straws.

Tip 4: Create a sharing economy

As the old saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Instead of throwing away unwanted items, find ways to share with your community. Hosting clothing swaps, organizing community yard sales, or setting up a borrowing center can all help keep waste out of the landfill. The less waste we dispose of, the less material there is to potentially become marine debris.

Tip 5: Don’t Purchase Items That Exploit Marine Life

Certain products contribute to the harming of fragile coral reefs and marine populations. Avoid purchasing items such as coral jewelry, tortoiseshell hair accessories (made from hawksbill turtles), and shark products.