Thesis Statement : Plastic wastes in the sea will cause negative effects for fish because their habitat get damaged, the fish get poisoned, and will be in extinction
A. Their Habitat Get Damaged
- Ruining Coral Reefs
- Damaging sea water
B. The Fish Get Poisoned
- Chemical Substances
- Damaged Digestive System
C. The Fish Will Be In Extinction
- Number of fish get killed
Hayu Lesya Putri
HI – 4
“We’ve become a plastic society”, a quote from Bill Janklow, a member of The U.S House of Representatives from South Dakota. It means everybody uses plastic in his/her daily lifes with low insight of it. Our meals, drinks, and another daily stuffs are wrapped by plastics. Unfortunately, the plastics will end up as trashes after we don’t use them anymore. The jargon says, “Don’t be a litterbug!” is not a nice suggestion anymore since it still poses another problem. Most of the plastic wastes are end up in the ocean with some ways, such as wind and water. It is the best media because plastic is light and able to float. Meanwhile, Earth consists of 80% of water, there are huge oceans where the plastics will end up in and have a big possibilities on ruining the marine ecosistem including coral reefs, sea water, and some organisms like fish. Moreover, plastic wastes in the sea cause negative effects for fish because their habitat get damaged, the fish get poisoned, and the fish will be in extinction.
There are a lot of various kinds of fish that live behind the coral reefs. Coral reef is made up with plant, fish, and many other creatures. It is a home for about 25% of all marine life. We can say if it is a “rainforest of the ocean”. However, lots of small fishes that live behind the coral reefs die because of plastic wastes which damaged the coral reefs, it can block plants from getting light and interupt the growth of it. Based on the data, only 5.2% of coral reefs in Indonesia are in a good condition. In other words, coral reefs are a very fragile ecosystem that really sensitive with marine pollution. Besides that, the damages of coral reefs are also influenced by the water sea pollution since water are the best media which send the litters enter into the ocean. Water quality gets worse as litter releases poisons and chemical substances. Actually, plastics are made by some non bio-degradable substances and contain chemical polymer that cannot be broken by microorganisms in a biodegradation process so that plastics are persistent objects. They need hundred years to be decomposed after being separated into tiny pieces, and spread across the ocean but they are not brokendown. Marine ecosystem can get sick from living with the dirty water. In the end, sea water becomes the major of habitat damaging.
Not only up there, the old plastic wastes which are not destroyed yet will decompose into tiny pieces. It may possible for getting eaten by fish which eat plankton or another microorganisms because of the similar form. If they accidentally eat those, it will stay inside forever since fish’s digestive system are unable to permeate the plastics and damage its digestive until the fish dies, getting putrefied, and the tiny parts of plastics get back to the sea and spread away. Furthermore, plastics are unsafe since they are made by Benzene and Zinc which cannot be digested by the fish. Moreover, they are also made by Bisphenol A (BPA) and Phthalates (DOP) where if both matters enter into the body of organism, they will ruin the endocrine system and being a pollutan inside while it causes the damaging of endocrine functions such as hormone metabolism disorders, hormone transport disorders, etc. According to research in Minamata and Nigata, Japan, it has known that there was mercury pollution in 1953 through 1968 came from industrial plastic wastes which were using mercury chloride catalyst. It influenced the levels of mercury in fish’s bodies. In the same case, National Marine Institute (LIPI) has found that the level of mercury in Teluk Jakarta reached 0.027ppm, it is four times from the level of mercury in Japan’s cases. Thereby, those substances cannot be released with the fish’s urine. In the end, those plastics will wait for the death of that fish before it returns to sea.
Unfortunately, the amount of plastic wastes are bigger than the total population of marine organisms. Greenpeace, a global environmental organisation in Amsterdam, has reported about at least 267 species of marine animals have suffered consuming marine plastic wastes. It was predicted if 100.000 marine mammals are threatened by the plastic wastes every year because of 90% of all marine wastes are plastics. On the other hand, every year, people using 700.000 plastics and 80% of those are sent to the ocean without recycled. These conditions get worse because some countries have no concern about the danger of using plastics for oceans except the developed countries, where developing countries have a big percentage of population growth. It may lead to the increasing of stores or industries that using plastics for their costumers to bring their buys. In fact, it has predicted that the total amount of plastic wastes in the ocean are about one hundred million metric tons. Those will lead the fish living to be in danger with extinction.
In summary, the problem of plastic wastes in the ocean are already widespread. Every country should know about all aspects of marine are important for the existence of fish. The most important thing we need to concerned about is controlling the use of plastics. It is not too late to deal with our plastics. Try to reduce and recycle what we have used. We must change your mindset about “using plastics is the only way out”. We can work with our imagination, creation, and a little science to invent something that can replace plastics, or we can change plastic wastes into some valuable things as has been taught in some schools. It might be better if we can invent a new material mixture of substances that can change the non-biodegradable substances in plastics so it can be decomposed easily. At least, we can stop using plastic, be more respect with environment, and have a new lifestyle. Remember, big thing starts from a small thing. When these actions are done by people in all over the world, can you imagine how many fish that you have saved from extinction?