Plastic is a non-biodegradable material. It is not absorbed by nature but continues to remain as an eyesore littering the countryside to finally wind up in the oceans. Over a period of time, it breaks up into microplastics which are swallowed by the small fish. These, in turn, become fodder for the larger marine animals like the tuna, dolphins, and whales, and pose dangers to marine life. The BBC reports that Plastic Pollution is a danger for the Environment and this rampant abuse violates International Laws. In the opinion of campaigners, the time has come to consider going in for modifying existing treaties or have new ones to tackle the problem.

Existing restrictions are inadequate

There are a number of provisions and international laws to control marine plastic litter, including a few regional agreements. According to a provision of the UN, states are responsible for taking necessary action to ensure that the marine environment is kept free of plastic pollution. They have to introduce suitable measures to ensure that plastic, in any form, does not go into the oceans.

Irish scientists have carried out a study on fish and have found that the presence of microplastics in the northwest Atlantic is a matter of concern. Three out of four deep-water fish had ingested these items that have entered their food chain. Legal action should be taken by governments and green groups against countries that ignore the existing laws.

These have been designed to protect and preserve rare or fragile ecosystems apart from the habitat of all forms of marine life. Those who violate the law could face prosecution in the International Court of Justice.

The effect of microplastics

A team of scientists from the National University of Ireland, Galway, had undertaken the study on plastic pollution to assess the magnitude of the problem related to microplastic in the oceans.

They focused on a special type of fish caught in the northwest Atlantic. These are usually found at depths of 200-1,000m during the day and they come to the surface at night to feed. Tiny plastic fragments were discovered in the guts of these fish in 73 percent of the sample which is a dangerous trend. Incidentally, they are a source of food for the larger marine animals, and sea birds and the microplastic enters the food chain.

This is an issue related to the environment because plastic is not an item of food, it cannot be digested, and can kill. Most of these were in the form of fibers commonly used in textiles, and those who flout the international laws must realize that dependence on plastic must end for the good of all.