305. Mass Observation - Rubbish. Part 1: Sea Junk

by Jarvo J November. 01, 2010 4327 views

Sadly much of the rubbish that we produce just gets thrown in the sea. This is a massive problem because it kills marine life, pollutes the environment and wastes vital resources.

Above are pictures I took whilst visiting a couple of local beaches Thorpe Bay and Shoebury East Beach. As you look at these pictures you should bear in mind that these are not actually considered to be bad beaches. The Marine Conservation Society gives a pass to the water quality at Thorpe Bay and Recommends Shoebury East Beach stating that it has the, ??Highest UK standard for bathing water quality?. Imagine what beaches which do not pass might have on them!

Below are some rather disturbing facts on marine litter.

- There are an estimated 18,000 pieces of plastic in every km2 of sea.
- An area of the North Pacific known as the Pacific Garbage Patch contains litter which has accumulated together. It is estimated to be twice the size of France.
- Garbage patches have been found in many other marine environments.
- A 2004 study estimated that some 20,000 tonnes of litter was deposited each year into the North Sea??70% of sinks to the bottom, 15% floats on the surface and 15% is washed up on beaches.
- It is estimated that, ??more than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year throughout the world after either becoming entangled in or eating plastic materials found in the sea?.
- In 1998, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) attended over 200 incidents to vessels with fouled propellers. This is for one small country; it is not known how many incidents happen on a worldwide basis.
- A single cigarette butt contains plastic which may take hundreds of years to break down.
- A plastic bottle may remain intact for up to 450 years.
- Plastic litter on our beaches has more than doubled since 1994.
- Plastic doesn't disappear, it just breaks down into smaller fragments. The oceans now contain particles of plastic so small that they get lodged inside the muscle tissues of fishes.

Please click the link to see other Mass Observation posts on the theme of “rubbish” [photoblog.com].

What gets washed up on our beaches?

A sign of the times.

The ubiquitous Coke can.

It ain't no picnic.

Water, panty liners and polystyrene packing. Nice mix.

Enough to choke a propeller or perhaps an unlucky sea bird.

Yesterday's sandwich.

Mmmm my favourite. Cheese & Onion crisps with dog turds.

Anyone for tennis?

Even car parts.

Beer in a bag.

Glass - nasty.

Waving goodbye to healthy marine environments.

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There are 24 comments , add yours!
Huiching 10 years, 3 months ago

Too bad. But it's similar to almost every beach in Thailand.

10 years, 3 months ago Edited
Ricardo 10 years, 3 months ago

too much junk for me!
I knew half of those facts, but hey i'm bad, i still split the chewing gum to the floor :(:(

10 years, 3 months ago Edited
Thebronzebow 10 years, 3 months ago

great post about a very ugly subject

10 years, 3 months ago Edited
Gregg Maretka 10 years, 3 months ago

what a tremendous collection

10 years, 3 months ago Edited
Gerd Korts 10 years, 4 months ago

What a collection!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Art Bee 10 years, 4 months ago

That is such an eye opener post! Wow! It's so appalling yet holds true to every continent and every body of water in the world. Perhaps with the exception of those who live in places that do not have such waste. Great job on this post! Excellent reportage! Graphic shots are fantastic!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Nikoleta Mladenova 10 years, 4 months ago


10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Nagy László 10 years, 4 months ago

The kitchen sink sponge is completely good yet! LOL Great post!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Kate 10 years, 4 months ago

Excellent post..information is actually reall thought provoking...and so sad when you see beautiful beaces become rubbish dumps trough careless behaviour

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Eiram Marie 10 years, 4 months ago

great post!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Karman 10 years, 4 months ago

Excellent observations, TFS the information as well. It is say.

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jacki 10 years, 4 months ago

Excellent post, Jon! Do they still dump garbage in to the sea? I guess I'm totally ignorant about that concept as I live inland and we bury things in a landfill. Do you have recycling programs? Bottle deposits? Bottle deposits put an end to bottles laying around in my state... money gets peoples attention. A can laying on the ground is like finding a ten cents and someone will take it!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Moira 10 years, 4 months ago

Great set well put over report

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jennye 10 years, 4 months ago

Excellent post Jon!!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 10 years, 4 months ago

A situation that, unfortunately, we see everywhere.
Great set, Jon!!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Marsha 10 years, 4 months ago

Great finds and catches for MOPS, Jon, unfortunate though they are.....and thanks for providing this information. A sad story for the earth....

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Jet28 10 years, 4 months ago


10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Paul 10 years, 4 months ago

This is a sad state of affairs...but a brilliant post Jon.

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Sadhya Rippon 10 years, 4 months ago

Brilliant post Jon.
This is turning out to be a wonderfully interesting theme for MOP.

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Livelovelaugh 10 years, 4 months ago

This is unbelievable! Fantastic reportage. :)

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Diane Davis 10 years, 4 months ago

This makes me sad. I couldn't help but notice the beautiful sea shells and stones that this filth was laying on top of.

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Michael Sakowicz 10 years, 4 months ago

Wow... Very well put, Jon. Great post and great images.

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Larry Nelson 10 years, 4 months ago

Sadly, we see some of the same thing around our beautiful lakes and rivers, but we have been fortunate that we have very little pollution.

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
Becky Brannon 10 years, 4 months ago

GREAT POST!!! I am glad to see someone else likes to get on their high horse about this stuff! It just seems like plain common sense to me that we need to take care of our planet. I don't get people who don't!!

10 years, 4 months ago Edited
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