Everyday we touch or use something that’s made of plastic without even thinking the effects of it Specifically, the effects of plastic on living organisms. In this video, I will be talking about plastic pollution in the ocean and how it is affecting the marine life. Recently the topic of plastic and its danger to living organism including to the marine life has been a serious topic and recognized as a major environmental problem worldwide We will first need to explain what plastic is before we show how it is affecting the marine life. Plastic is a chain-like molecule that is synthetic. It has properties including lightweight, strong, durable and most importantly, low cost. As a result of all these characteristics, plastics are commonly used in production of many products that are common to us including our phones, houses, clothes, appliances and cars. Plastic is dangerous because it takes around 500-1000 years to break down. Humans have made 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since the early 1950s You might be wondering, how much is 8.3 billion metric ton It weighs as much as 822,000 Eiffel Towers 25,000 Empire State Buildings or 80 million blue whales. Of the 8.3 billion, 6.3 billion metric tons has become waste by 2015 of which, many are now in the ocean. By 2050, it is projected that 34 billion metric ton of plastic will be produced and 12 billion metric ton will be waste The majority of marine plastic pollution comes from the land. There is about 4.8-12.7 million metric ton to 12.7 million metric ton of plastic annually that goes from land to the sea This amount of plastic is enough to outweigh all the fish in the ocean by 2050 Although plastic pollution is an important issue, there is an equally large problem with microplastics in the ocean Microplastics are pieces of plastic that are 5 that are 5 millimeters or smaller Some of them come from cosmetic products and toothpastes but many come from plastic waste that are always exposed to UV radiation These plastic particles break down to smaller pieces These small pieces of plastic are what is known as microplastic. The number of microplastic particles together in 2014 is around 15-51 trillion particles This weights somewhere between 93 and 235 thousand metric ton or it equals 20 elephants As a result of having an extreme amount many marine animals get stuck in the plastic and many even swallow it Animals that have swallowed the plastics have to starve because the plastic that they ate are indigestible A study showed that in 186 species of marine animals a researcher tested around 90% had exposure to plastic pieces Many animals starve with pieces of plastic that they are not able to digest. In the marine ecosystem, the lower trophic level (or the lower position in a food web) animals such as phytoplankton would eat these microplastic and the toxicity of the materials associated with it the plastic Is then transferred up the food chain A fish would then eat the phytoplankton and accumulate these toxic and later on, a predator fish would come around and eat it Eventually, we would eat the fish This shows that plastic could damage our own health Another study was done where the researcher looked into the presence of synthetic particles in all seven species of marine turtles in all parts of the ocean in the world and found that there were in fact, plastic in all of them The solution to this problem for now is to stop the use of one-time use plastic materials such as plastic bottles, plastic bags, and straws Instead swap it with reusable materials like a stainless steel water bottle and if not, use paper or glass material instead of plastic Raise awareness to the issue and convince friends and family to stray away from plastic. Thank you for watching and hopefully you’ve learned more about plastic waste today!