The oceans are massive bodies that help humanity in a number of ways from food to trade or simply to beauty. Regrettably, this asset is threatened by man-made pollution and natural causes.

Although the four oceans have suffered humanitarian consequences for more than a thousand years, they have accelerated in recent decades.  Toxic waste, oil spills, floating plastics, and other factors have contributed to ocean pollution.

Here are 5 shocking facts about plastic bags in the Ocean :

1. There is now more plastic particle in oceans plastics than the number of stars in the galaxy

When you think of plastic in the ocean, you may think of the plastic bottles and containers floating on the surface of the water. Although this type of pollution is undoubtedly a major problem, the risk posed by fine plastics can pose a serious threat to the marine ecosystem.

2. Small animals absorb chemicals in their food

Small animals at the bottom of the food chain absorb chemicals in their diet. These small animals eat large animals that increase chemicals concentration. Plastics decompose differently as organic materials like wood or paper.

Instead, the plastic divides into smaller pieces over time. The effects of small plastics are still under study, but what we do know is that fish swallow these small plastic particles into the food chain and that humans can often absorb them.

5 Shocking Facts about Plastic bags in the Ocean
A whale shark swims by a plastic bag. Pollution like this can have negative effects on all marine life.
Photo by: Steve De Neef/VW Pics/UIG via Getty Images

3. Millions of tons of plastic reach the ocean every year

Year after year, the crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans is worsening. At the same time, very few things receive about 8 million tons of extra plastic in the ocean each year. To put things in perspective, that is nearly the same weight as one-thirty million people of average size that enter our oceans each year.

4. Every piece of manufactured plastic still exists

Plastic is incredibly durable that every piece of manufactured plastic still exists in the world. The plastic decomposes with time when exposed to the sun, but it never disappears.

Instead, it is divided into smaller and smaller parts, so that the particles are visible only under the microscope. Although much of the waste and debris dumped into the ocean is hundreds of kilometers away, they are still washed on beaches and coastal areas, affecting everything that separates them.

All marine animals are affected by industrial chemicals released into the water.

5. Plastic bags in the ocean can be one of the biggest causes of pollution  

A recent study found the ocean pollution is very common in deep waters with plastic bags being the main cause of pollution besides fishing equipment, metal cans, shoes, glass bottles, and tires, etc.

Marine life is dying and the ecosystem of the entire ocean is therefore threatened by several sources of pollution. If we want to preserve the ocean and its natural beauty, we must take strict measures to control the pollution of plastic bags in the ocean.

Considering the problems of using plastic bags, shocking facts about plastic bags in the ocean and identifying their negative impacts on our environment, an increasing number of countries are banning the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and retail stores.

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