What’s your favourite sea creature? An octopus, a turtle, a crab, or a jellyfish? Let’s say that you like turtles. Well, your favourite animal is endangered and needs your help. One of the reasons turtles - and many other animals - are endangered is because of litter.
Litter is causing huge problems around the world. Not only in the sea, but on the land too, animals are mistaking plastic and other junk as food. Globally, 100,000 marine animals die from plastic and waste. I know, it’s really sad. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste estimated to be in our oceans. 70% of our debris sinks into the ocean's ecosystem, 15% floats, and 15% lands on our beaches. 8.3 million tons of plastic are discarded in the sea yearly. The 70% of underwater junk, the 15% of floating junk and the 15% of junk on the land is all horrible for us and for our animals. We have to do something, but what?
I took this photo when I went to a shopping centre. It’s an artificial waterfall, but what do you notice about it? That’s right, in the corner, there is rubbish! A coke bottle and a green bottle lid, and I didn’t get to take a photo of it, but there was a pink marble too! Luckily, no animals live in this fake waterfall, but this is what is happening to the ocean. People are dropping their trash on the ground, and because of the wind and the drains, majority of the rubbish ends up in the ocean. This picture is just a demo of what’s happening in our sea.
You may be wondering why I keep telling you sad stuff. It’s because I need to tell you the problem so I can tell you the solution. The solution is to reuse and recycle. If you wanted to reuse something, like a plastic bottle, but you don’t know how, it’s just that you lack creativity. A friend of mine once made a plastic bottle into a flower pot, just with scissors and paint! You could also turn a bottle into 2 plastic cups, or furniture for your dolls or even a bracelet. Even if it means you’ll have a bit of plastic left to put in the bin, it’s better than a whole bottle. If you recycle something, you give it to a place that can break the plastic, and then put it together again to make a whole new bottle, or even something else! These two options are amazing solutions, because both of them find a way to give your rubbish a second life!
Here are some companies that are trying to clean and renew our oceans. The first one is “Ocean Cleanup”. They have a focused mission to collect 90 percent of plastic from the oceans by 2040. 2040 is a long way away, but it is still a good decision. People are saying that by 2040, there could be around 29 million metric tons of plastic in the ocean. So, if “Ocean Cleanup” reduces 90% of plastic by then, there would only be 2,900,000 metric tons in the ocean. That is still not really good, but it’s better than 29 million metric tons of plastic! Next, we have “River Cleaning”, which started in 2018, in Veneto, Italy. They created an invention that takes waste in rivers and moves it up to a storage place behind the river. Cleaning out the rivers means that the rubbish won’t go to the sea, and won’t kill animals. Finally, we have “Searious business”. This company, unlike the last 2, is not cleaning up the ocean, but trying to reduce our plastic footprint, which technically means that they’re trying to find more sustainable ways to do things, instead of using plastic. If you wanted to know, plastic is the most effecting piece of junk, so that’s why people are focusing more on it. There are many ways to help clean out the ocean. So maybe you should! That way, your favourite sea animal will live a long happy life.
Now that you know more about the ocean and how to protect it, I’ll tell you some cool facts about our sea creatures! First, did you know there is a jellyfish that can live forever?! It’s called the Turritopsis dohrnii, but most people call it the "Immortal jellyfish". When it gets old, it changes itself back into a baby and lives its life again! However, if it gets eaten, it does die. Also, did you know that a male squid is the size of a female squid’s eye?! Finally, seahorses are the only animals in which the male, not the female, gives birth and care for their young! Crazy, right? Our ocean is full of surprises, you just have to look for them. 😉