How The Ocean Cleanup Helps Eliminate Ocean Pollution

How The Ocean Cleanup Helps Eliminate Ocean Pollution

What exactly is ocean pollution, and what can we do about it?

In the movement to combat ocean pollution, The Ocean Cleanup has emerged as “the largest cleanup in history.” Since its founding in 2013, the organization has gained global attention for its mission to rid the world’s oceans of plastic debris.

Now, why is this important? Ocean pollution happens when various substances and materials end up in the ocean and is mostly caused by human activities. Plastic pollution, for example, is a significant factor. Items like plastic bottles and bags make their way into the ocean and can linger for years, posing threats to marine organisms through ingestion and entanglement. Chemical pollutants from sources like factories and farms can accumulate in marine animals, disrupting their health and ecosystem balance. But these types of pollution can also affect human health. Plastic and chemical contaminants can contaminate seafood with harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which pose health risks to humans if they’re consumed. Exposure to chemical pollutants in the ocean can also cause skin irritation, respiratory problems, and other health effects. 

So, ocean pollution is arguably one of the largest issues facing our environment today, which is why Our Apiary is choosing to support The Ocean Cleanup. At the core of the organization is its groundbreaking technologies, with the main one being the "Interceptor," a solar-powered vessel designed to autonomously collect plastic waste from rivers before it reaches the open sea. In 2019, the organization deployed its first cleanup system in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—a massive accumulation of roughly 1.8 trillion pieces of floating plastic debris. In total, they have removed over 10,000,000 kg of trash in the oceans and rivers around the world. 

The Ocean Cleanup's impact extends beyond the removal of plastic waste. By raising awareness about the impact of human activity on the health of our oceans, the organization has played a huge role in broader systemic change. Its work emphasizes the urgent need for collective action to address the root causes of marine pollution, from single-use plastics to inadequate waste management infrastructure.

When it comes to action, everybody has to do their part. For example, eliminating single-use plastics in your life, recycling, and reducing your carbon footprint are all simple but effective ways to start. Choose products and brands that prioritize sustainability and environmentally friendly packaging. If you’re looking for more ways to get involved, you can advocate for stronger waste management policies and regulations at the local, national, and international levels. And, of course, supporting organizations like The Ocean Cleanup through donations are crucial to their efforts in preserving the health of our oceans.

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Hi, I’m Sophie! I’m a 16-year-old student from California, and I’m a writer for Our Apiary’s blog. Environmental issues have always been important to me, but as I’ve learned more about the real-world effects of human actions, I’ve wanted to take a more active role in combating some of these issues. By working with Our Apiary, I get to combine three of my interests: environmental sustainability, writing, and fashion! I’m so excited to share my writing, and I hope it inspires you to strive for a more sustainable future!


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