Ever since the United Nations declared June 8th to be World Ocean’s Day in 2002, people and groups from around the world have used the occasion to celebrate the ocean and take steps to protect it. Now, with the ocean facing more threats than ever, it’s time for all of us to come together to protect our treasured marine environment.

Fethiye Times has pulled together some facts about the impact plastic pollution is having on our oceans, and in turn, our planet.

Facts about our oceans

Oceans cover more 71 percent of the planet, host up to 80 percent of life on earth and account for 96 percent of all water.

Oceans absorb around 30% carbon dioxide produced by humans, buffering the impacts of global warming.

Oceans serve as the world’s largest source of protein, with more than 2.6 billion people depending on the oceans as their primary source of protein.

As much as 40 per cent of the world oceans are heavily affected by human activities like pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats

An ocean of plastic

Every minute, one garbage truck worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean. Yearly, a colossal 1.4 billion tons of trash ends up in our beautiful oceans. Of this waste, much of it is plastic.

World Ocean's Day - "no water, no life, no blue, no green" - Sylvia EarleEvery minute, one garbage truck worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean

Where Does All the Trash Go?

World Ocean's Day - "no water, no life, no blue, no green" - Sylvia Earle

Once the trash reaches the ocean, where does it all go? You may be at the beach and not see any trash around you and wonder how there can be over 5.25 trillion pieces and counting. One of the main places our trash travels to is The North Pacific Ocean Gyre, or as most people known it as, the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch. An ocean gyre is defined as a system of circular ocean currents formed by the Earth’s wind patterns and the forces created by the rotation of the planet. Despite its name, there is nothing great about this swirling mass of trash that is four times the size of Texas. This ocean gyre has become so filled with trash, that it is visible from space.

Why here?

The Great Pacific Patch has the strongest currents of all the five ocean gyres and is located between the Hawaiian Islands and California. Unfortunately, most of the trash from around the world travels here through currents and gets sucked into the swirling mass where it remains until it can decompose in time. And the most common found trash in this swirling vortex? You guessed it – plastic.

World Ocean’s day 2018

Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

Will you stop using single use plastic bags, bottles and straws to help our ocean?

Plastic trash is a serious problem for our ocean, and especially all the animals that call it home, but together we can be part of the solution.

Here in Fethiye, Türkiye’yi Temiz Tut will be campaigning to reduce the use of single-use plastics. Whether you live here or just visit for holidays, you can be involved and help us to #BeatPlasticPollution.

Our first campaign is…

Say NO to plastic straws

World Ocean's Day - "no water, no life, no blue, no green" - Sylvia Earle
#saynotostraws

A small straw may not seem like a big problem, but when we look at our reliance on this petroleum based, single-use item from a global scale it becomes very apparent that this unnecessary habit poses a huge threat to the health of our planet. And it’s one of the easiest problems to solve.

Straws annually make it on the Ocean Conservancy’s Top 10 most collected items at beach cleanups. Most of those end up in our oceans, polluting the water and harming or killing marine life.

World Ocean's Day - "no water, no life, no blue, no green" - Sylvia Earle
Avid scuba diver Kasey Turner was snorkeling after work recently at a popular dive site in Manly, Australia. In the area she found 319 straws on a single 20-minute snorkel. 24 hours later Kasey went back and did another and found 294 in the exact same place. Credit: Grumpy Turtle Design

Plastic straws are harmful to marine life

Whilst watching a distressed turtle have a straw pulled out of its nose isn’t the most feel good viewing, footage like this plays an important and vital role in regards to raising awareness. This clip shows exactly what can happen if your discarded plastic straw makes its way into the ocean.

We want to encourage people to stop using plastic straws for good.

How can you help?

It’s simple – when you order a drink say “No straw, please!”

World Ocean's Day - "no water, no life, no blue, no green" - Sylvia Earle

Get in the habit of asking for no straw before you even order a beverage.

If we don’t act now, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

Watch out for further details of #BeatPlasticPollution campaigns over the coming weeks.

Sources: WorldStrides/4Ocean/GrumpTurtle Design/World Ocean’s Day

4 COMMENTS

  1. So many plastic bags used at the markets for fruit and veg in Turkey. If we reuse the ones from the previous shopping trip would the stall holders object.i

    • Hello Hazel

      Thank you for your comment.

      It’s a great idea to reuse bags. Or better still, buy an environmentally friendly bag and where possible, put your fruit and veg directly into it once it has been weighed.

      I can’t see why stall holders would object as they have to buy the plastic bags so it would cut down on costs.

  2. I love Turkey ❤️ But there is very little awareness about this problem. Every bar I went in (only a couple of weeks ago) put not just one, but a host of plastic straws and decorations. When I said no straw I was looked at like I said something weird.
    In January 2019 I will be rowing 3000miles across the Atlantic Ocean to raise awareness about the problem of plastics pollution in our oceans. I will be doing it solo and unsupported becoming one of only 7 women to have ever done this. I am also aiming on beating the world record of 49days.
    Get in touch if you want to use my story to help raise awareness. http://www.rowaurora.co.uk

    • Hello Dawn

      Thank you for your comment.

      Fethiye Times is part of the Türkiye’yi Temiz Tutalım (Let’s Keep Turkey Clean) project and as part of #BeatPlasticPollution we will shortly be launching a ‘Say No To Straws’campaign. I would be very interested in using your story and will be in touch.

      You can contact me directly on fethiyetimes2017@gmail.com

      Kind regards

      Lyn

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