A new research has shown that, not only does plastic harm marine animals, it also contributes to ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification occurs when the pH levels of the planet’s oceans decrease due to their uptake of human-produced carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Higher levels of acidity in the ocean makes it hard for organisms that use calcification — like corals, oysters, urchins and planktons — to build their skeletons. When these organisms falter, it can affect other marine species that rely on them for habitat and food.
The interaction of plastic with sunlight causes a mixture of chemicals to be released into the ocean. The organic acids that are leached into the ocean lower the seawater’s pH and cause a rise in acidity. Plastic deteriorating in the sun can also result in a release of carbon dioxide, causing pH levels to fall even further.
About 30% of the carbon emissions produced by humans are absorbed by the world’s oceans, which has caused a decrease in pH levels, with the corresponding rise in acidity. Ocean acidification doesn’t happen equally across the world. The pH of surface waters has gone down an average of about 0.1 pH units, which has caused many changes that will be exacerbated if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase. (Source: eco watch.com)
What is the solution? The main solution is certainly NOT to use plastics, particularly single-use plastics!
90% of plastics are not recycled even when it would be possible, and will end up in landfills and eventually the will poison soils and waters.
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