With environmental engineering against plastic in the ocean
We all know that plastics are a big problem in our environment. The latest when we are again at the sea and notice how many plastic particles pollute the sand. And not only the sea is affected, because meanwhile microplastic can be detected almost everywhere, even on Mount Everest and in our drinking water!
Since the invention of plastic in the last century, its consumption and longevity have posed a major problem for mankind. According to the German Federal Environment Agency, there is an average of 13,000 plastic waste items per square kilometer of the ocean surface. We are virtually littering our planet with plastic waste. The plastic pieces continue to break apart into microscopic particles - known as microplastics. According to a 2016 study, plastic particles can even be found at depths of 8000 meters as "leftover" plastic waste in the ocean. This is worrying, because in the depths of the ocean live creatures that feed on sediments. However, the sediments are polluted with microplastic particles. The microorganisms from the deep sea are at the bottom of the food chain and, in turn, serve as food for other marine animals. And at the end of the food chain, there are we
In addition to the immense amount of plastic in the ocean, the longevity of the plastic particles is a major problem. Although plastic decomposes with the help of sunlight to CO2 and hydrogen, this happens very slowly, and it takes many, many years for plastic to degrade. Until the plastic has completely decomposed, it continues to survive in the form of microplastics. This also means that "only" reducing the amount of plastic in the ocean is unfortunately not enough, because once broken down into nearly invisible microplastic, the particles can hardly be removed. Especially not at a depth of 8000 m.