Oceans are known to be the most ancient water bodies on planet Earth being billions of years old. But, now, the life it sustains is under threat. Sea animals are choking, oceans are a mirror image of tar, and the drinking water tastes like sweat. What is it that went wrong? Us. This is we humans who walked down the history of Earth overusing our life-sustaining resources. How are we degrading our oceans? To generate more awareness about ocean pollution and related issues, Saathi is launching The Ocean Series, a 5-part exploration of the problem of ocean pollution, the contribution of menstrual plastics to it, and possible solutions like sustainable periods. In Part-1, we are going to talk about the UNSDGs related to Ocean Pollution and how plastics are one of the greatest enemies of the oceans. This well-researched series has been started by Saathi because we at Saathi want to be a part of the sustainable solution. Follow the series to find out how we can save our oceans and be part of the solution.
One of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals is ‘Goal 14: Life Under Water.’ Its goal is to "Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in order to realize and reduce the damage done to the ocean. The main aim of goal 14 is to achieve targets set by the UN standards and preserve the oceans that support the global population's economic, social and environmental needs.
Oceans and seas have been exploited by humans through overconsumption and by not realizing the damage done to them. Different human activities with no critical evaluation regarding our actions has led to this dire situation of ocean pollution. Worldwide, high-income countries use 59 percent of their water for industrial use, while low-income countries use 8 percent. In the race to develop the fastest, we have also ended up slicing the ocean's vibrant life into shreds of past glory. Through our consistent actions, the scenario has become so different that the picture of a clean ocean can only be found in scrapbooks or pictures from a different century. And, as per the recent IPCC Report 2021, an abnormal rise in sea levels that has not happened once in 100 years could happen every year by the end of this century.
Ocean and Plastics:
Ocean pollution is not something that erupted like an active volcano. It is a chain of small cuts that piled never-ending litter upon the ocean beds. It is an ongoing phenomenon that is fueled by human actions. The core sources of marine pollution are sewer overflows, beach visitors, inadequate waste disposal and management, industrial activities, construction, and illegal dumping.
The most prevalent source of this pollution is the toxic dumping of plastics. There are almost 8 million tons of plastic found in the oceans every year, it is also the most abundant marine litter. Waste plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris starting from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. Plastic has been observed to be in higher quantities near popular tourist destinations and densely populated areas. According to the National Geographic studies, more than 700 marine species are facing a serious threat due to plastic pollution. As per research, it has been estimated that about 1 million aquatic birds and 100,000 marine fauna, every year, are slaughtered because of plastic ingestion. And, about 1.8 trillion tons of plastic debris can be found in The Great Pacific Garbage Patch that stretches between California and Hawaii. This can affect life underwater and the enormous number of people whose daily lives depend on its consumption and production.
Ocean pollution not only harms life underwater but also affects human society.
Water contaminated by ocean pollution can harbor bacteria, such as those responsible for diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis A, and polio. Also, when sea animals eat toxic materials and then we consume them as seafood, we consume those toxic materials.
One of the 14 United Nations Sustainable Goals is also Goal 13: Climate Action. lt is aimed at educating people about how their small actions can have bigger repercussions. Be it the glaciers melting due to a rise in global temperature or the oceans getting polluted due to the toxic dumping of plastics.
There are multiple options through which we can reduce ocean pollution. It is pertinent to understand that it is we who need to rethink our choices. If we express to the corporations and the government that we do not require single-use plastics then this will not only protect the life below water but also will bring about the climate action that is so urgently needed. If the plastics are disposed of properly then a lot of ocean pollution would be mitigated and the oceans would become cleaner. The problem of pollution will never end if we just collect the garbage and think only about the cure because it is a never-ending cycle. Hence, Saathi is a part of the solution that focuses on prevention rather than just the cure. It is working to produce sustainable menstrual products that will avoid the heaping garbage at the source itself because if things are made properly at the source then there won’t be any need to be particular about the garbage disposal. It is high time when we re-evaluate our choices and buy sustainable ocean-friendly options. Hope this was hopeful, we are excited to bring the Part-2 of The Ocean Series, so please subscribe to our blogs and read the Part-2 about how period products contribute to rising plastic pollution which in turn harms the ocean.
Saathi , an award-winning social venture has patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. It is known for its 100% biodegradable and compostable pads made from banana and bamboo fibres. Saathi pads are better for the body🩸, community 🌎 and environment 🌱. We are on a mission to make products sustainably and responsibly.
We are recognized by the UNESCO Green Citizens project, University of St. Andrews, Solar Impulse Foundation, and Global Cleantech Innovation Program among others for our innovative, social impact, and sustainable work. We are working towards 8 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).