Why Removing Plastic From Oceans is Important For Your Health

The fact you’re reading our blog, you probably already know that our mission at CleanOceanNFT is to rid oceans of plastic waste to help preserve our wonderful marine life.

I’m sure like most people, you hate seeing animals distressed, whether it’s a turtle that thought it was eating a jellyfish only to get a plastic bag stuck in it’s stomach, or dolphins that get trapped in discarded fishing nets. There’s something so heart-wrenching about seeing animals suffer, especially when it’s from something as easily preventable as improper waste disposal and unnecessary plastic usage.

But saving animals isn’t the only reason why it’s important to remove plastic from our oceans. We also have to think about our own health and wellbeing and the way that plastic waste can end up finding its way into the food we eat, and eventually our bodies.

We are of course talking about microplastics.

As plastics break down over time, they end up becoming so small they are often undetectable to the naked eye, filtering into our water and being ingested - intentionally or not - by life in the seas.

That means the fish that you consume may be adding harmful plastics into your diet.

The worrying statistics about microplastics

Beachapedia cites a study showing that in Indonesia, plastics were found in 28% of individual fish they studied and in 55% of all species. This is already a huge amount, and if you don’t think it is, let me put it this way.

When you next head down to your local fish and chip shop, imagine that there’s 3 pieces of cod left, and 1 of them has plastic in it. Would you enjoy picking your piece of choice of fish, knowing that there could be a nasty surprise waiting for you?

But It’s not only about the plastics you might be eating that are a problem. As microplastics are ending up in the oceans, that also means they end up in the water we drink. Okay, you’re not drinking sea water directly - i hope - but incidentally it ends up in the freshwater, at quite alarming rates.

According to a study carried out in 2017, 93% of bottled water tested contain microplastics. A total of 259 bottles from 11 brands were purchased from 19 locations in 9 countries. An average of 325 microplastic particles (larger than 6.5 micrometers) were found per liter of bottle water.

But it’s not only bottled water. An international study on microplastics in tap water found that 83% of the samples contained plastic microfibers (99.7% of plastics found were fibers).

So the bottom line is, plastics in our oceans are getting into the food and water we consume, and it’s already at high levels. We need to act now to try and slow, and eventually stop this from happening.

So what can you do to help?

There are many things you can do to join us in the fight against microplastics in our oceans.

First of all, the best thing to do is to try and reduce your plastic waste, opting to buy products which do not use plastic packaging, or taking a reusable bag for life to the shops. Make sure to use an existing bag for life if possible, or a tote bag, as buying new plastic bags for life is actually worse for the environment.

Secondly, you could help to volunteer in beach cleanups, walking the shores with a group of friends or other volunteers and do your bit to pick up litter that would otherwise add to the already worrying statistics.

Finally, if you aren’t able to help physically yourself, then why not consider buying one of our OceanCleanupNFTs. We donate $8.50 of every sale towards a charity which cleans the ocean of harmful plastics. It’s a great way to help an incredible cause, whilst also seeing if you can grab yourself one of our rare marine themed NFTs   Whatever you do to help, please help us spread the word of cleaning up our oceans on Twitter so we can keep our community growing, and keep fighting for the health of our planet.