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How does Your Trash End Up in the Ocean?

You’ve heard of the island of trash floating out in the ocean but probably haven’t given it much thought. Maybe you’ve wondered how so much junk ends up in the ocean. It can’t all come from people simply littering on the beach, right? While littering does contribute to the junk in the ocean, it’s not the only way trash gets there. Improperly disposing of garbage causes trash to pile up in the ocean, too. It’s not uncommon to find plastic products in the ocean. Plastic waste is the worst when it comes to ocean trash with more than 8 million tons getting dumped into the oceans yearly. According to Plastic Oceans International, more than 90% of seabirds ingest plastic. Connect4Climate estimates that 100,000 marine mammals die every year from becoming entangled in plastic waste. While we know the dangers of junk in the ocean, it’s hard to fix the problem without knowing how it ends up there. Let’s look at how trash ends up in the ocean before we look at some of the solutions to the problem.

4 Ways Trash Ends Up in the Ocean

1. Littering

When you litter, the junk can end up in the ocean. You don’t even have to litter near the ocean for it to end up there. It can blow into a nearby sewer drain, travel through the pipes, and end up in a nearby waterway. If that waterway connects to another waterway, which dumps out into the ocean, over time, your junk can end up there. It might take days, weeks, or hours, but the trash can move from inland areas to the ocean and cause harm to the wildlife. The sun will also break down the trash into smaller pieces, which float even easier from one area to another. Along the way, your litter can actually harm wildlife in other waterways, too.

2. Trash from Landfills

Even when you dispose of trash properly, it can end up in the ocean. It might blow out of a landfill into sewer pipes or into a river, which leads to the ocean. Trash has a way of traveling if it’s not properly disposed of and broken down.

3. Direct Sources of Ocean Trash

Sometimes, trash doesn’t need to travel to get into the ocean. It can be directly dumped into the ocean from beachgoers littering or trash blowing out of beach trash cans.

4. Not Recycling

When you don’t recycle plastic, it can end up in the ocean. One of the ways trash end up in the ocean is when people refuse to recycle. While recycling isn’t offered to everybody or in all areas, where it is offered, it should be used. Every single time you recycle plastic waste, you will be preventing that plastic waste from ending up in the ocean. There are many ways for trash to end up in the ocean. With a better understanding of how trash gets there and creates what is now known as garbage patches, it’s easier to do your part to prevent the trash from ending up in the ocean.

A Few Easy Ways to Keep Trash from Ending Up in the Ocean

1. Clean Up Local Waterways

Any trash found in your local rivers, creeks, or other waterways has the potential to end up in the ocean one day. One of the best ways to directly impact the trash ending up in the ocean is to organize local waterway clean-up events. When you clean up local waterways, you will ensure the trash you gather doesn’t end up in the ocean. If you live near the ocean, you can organize beach cleanup days to help keep beach litter from ending up in the ocean. A large cleanup project can be made easier with a dumpster rental. Even a small dumpster can make a difference and ensure the trash you remove from the waterways ends up in the landfill.

2. Recycle Plastic

Another great way to ensure junk doesn’t end up in the ocean is to recycle your plastic. You can also recycle metal items, too, but plastic is the biggest issue in the ocean. If you have access to recycling, you should always recycle anything plastic. If not, consider petitioning the local government to start a recycling program in your area.

3. Cut the Rings

While it won’t prevent plastic from getting into the ocean, it will keep it from causing as much harm. If you buy soda, beer, or any other canned beverage and it comes with plastic rings, cut them into pieces. It’s best to shred them or cut them into very small pieces before recycling or disposing of these rings. The rings can end up around a fish or another mammal and cause them harm. By cutting them up, you will help to prevent this issue from happening. Properly disposing of trash will help to ensure less waste ends up in the oceans. You can do your part and make a difference with these tips. No matter why you need a dumpster for clean-up, Waste Removal USA is here to help! Simply call us at 844-762-8449 or email us at sales@wasteremovalusa.com.

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