How we can protect the oceans?

Earlier this year, the state of the oceans was sad, and people became finally familiar with the issue. Photos of the shadow of Manila of plastic on the rocks has made news in many papers and magazines. In addition to the contaminated beaches, it became possible to see how huge sea areas are polluted and covered in plastic. The largest of these are in Hawaii and Florida. Giant waste accumulation has been monitored for years and its size is growing steadily. There are more waste coming to the seas not just the plastic. Chemicals, oil and metals are already to the point that for example half of biggest coral reefs are destroyed.

The world has awakened a while ago and the various states have tightened their legislation to cut off this devastating cycle. Even ordinary people can help with their choices and actions, influence their governments to be more active helping marine life and clear water to survive. Recycling is very important in Western countries. Since plastic has been found to be a highly degradable product, its recycling become more and more important. Unfortunately, it is estimated that only 5 percent of the world’s plastic waste is recycled. Rwanda and Kenya have aimed at a complete ban of plastic bags. Their manufacture, use and sale are forbidden, and the sanction may be imprisonment. Plastic bags form a large part of the marine waste, so it goes without saying that limiting their use is environmentally friendly.

Harmful substances can be found in cosmetics such as exfoliants and shower gels, certain fabrics are banned in United States, Great Britain and some other countries. The problem with microfibers is that it is impossible to clean them out of water using the current technology. Measurements have been taken to find a solution to this persisting problem.

Manual cleaning is an option of course, and one of the possible outcomes. The rocks in the Pacific which were covered in plastic, now have been cleaned by The Ocean Cleanup organization because the international community has failed to agree on the problem.

In Portsmouth, Great Britain, scientists have accidentally developed a super- enzyme that can in a few years seriously help to cleanse the sea from plastic rocks. Originally, the natural plastic-decomposing enzyme found in Japan was engineered under laboratory conditions, thus recognizing that the ability of the new substance had grown by one fifth. It is envisaged that this non- toxic and biodegradable enzyme could destruct giant plastic waste streams. On the other hand, the situation requires further research. Some years ago, in Australia, two surfers developed a device that could be called a sea sucker. A floating big bucket resembling device can be left in water for 24 hours where it smokes all the garbage around it and filters the water back into the sea. Most of the equipment designed for harbor costs thousands, but perhaps on a larger scale, it could be imagined as a purifier for oceans and seas.