What is Marine Pollution?

What is it?

Marine pollution is defined as “Direct or indirect introduction by humans of substances or energy into the marine environment (including estuaries), resulting in harm to living resources, hazards to human health, hindrances to marine activities including fishing, impairment of the quality of sea water and reduction of amenities.”


Put into perspective:

Time it takes for items to break down in the marine environment:

Fruit 2 weeks Paper towel 2-4 weeks
Newspaper 3 weeks Cotton cloth 1-5 months
Cardboard box 2 months Milk carton 3 months
Tin can 1-3 years Natural fibre rope 14 months
Cigarette Butt 10 years Styrofoam cup 50 years
Plastic bag 100-400 years 6 pack rings 400 years
Plastic bottles 450 years Glass bottles 300 years
Aluminium can 200-500 years Monofilament fishing net 600 years

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