Plastic has become an everyday part of our lives and it is important to note that this is a good thing! Plastic is the material arthritic patients use for their replaced knees and construction workers wear to protect their heads.
However, a problem arises when plastic ends up in the ocean. The seas are an important provider of food and medicine. We now have the technology to visit the unexplored deep ocean floor, and, with this holds a great amount of power to locate marine organisms that can be used to eliminate disease.
More than twenty percent of the global population gets the majority of its protein from seafood. Drugs and other medical treatments that are made from marine plants and animals are being developed at a fast rate. For example, brown seaweed extract is grown in the ocean and harvested by professional diverscontains phytochemicals that have been clinically shown in blocking the growth of cancer tumors and regulating blood sugar.
Ocean pollution threatens to cripple these valuable resources that we rely on for both food and medicine. Ocean-going toxins become concentrated up the food chain through biomagnification. Many species of seafood are now so tainted with pollutants, such as mercury, lead, and dioxin, that they are no longer safe to eat in large amounts.
One of the ways that we can make a difference is through developing solutions. Look out for a future blog post on how your individual actions can make a global impact.