Facts about Marine Litter1
Do you know how long it takes for litter to break down in the ocean?
- Paper litter: 2 – 4 weeks.
- Orange and banana peels: up to 2years.
- Cigarette butts: 1 – 5 years.
- Plastic bags: 10 – 20 years.
- Foam cups and tin cans: 50 years.
- Aluminium cans: at least 80 years.
- Plastic bottles: 450 years.
- Fine fishing net: at least 600 years (much longer for heavier nets).
- Glass bottles: 1 million years.
- One million sea birds are killed by marine litter every year.
- 100,000 turtles and marine mammals, such as dolphins, whales, and seals, are killed by plastic marine litter every year around the world.
- Plastics are the most common man made objects sighted at sea, with 11,000 pieces of plastic litter floating on every square mile of the world’s oceans.
- Six million tons of debris enters the world’s oceans every year, weighing about the same as a million elephants.
- More than 260 animal species worldwide have become entangled in or consumed fishing line, nets, ropes and other discarded equipment.
- An astounding 86% of all marine turtles are affected by marine debris.
Trash not only threatens and kills our marine wildlife, it is hazardous to our health and costs millions to clean up. It is the most pressing problem facing our nation’s beaches and oceans today.
Everyone can help make an impact on this tragedy. Take out what you bring to the beach; throw out trash and cigarette butts in trash cans; pick up other trash you come across; don’t use fireworks at the beach.
Help sea better.