Plastic pollution in marine environment

Plastic particles in seafloor of the Bay of Bengal Photograph: Sharif Sarwar, Marine Photo Journalist of Bangladesh.

Worldwide, more than 7.5 billion people are increasingly relying on the oceans for food, goods, and recreation. In terms of efficient management systems, the sustainable use of renewable resources and the recognition of different factors that often affect the human health of the oceans, the demand for ocean resources presents huge challenges.

Pollution, eutrophication, ocean acidification, and overfishing are threats that impede the sustainable use of ocean resources. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) specifically define the preservation and conservation of the use of coastal, aquatic, and marine resources for sustainable development.

Increasing amounts of micro plastic (MP) contaminants were observed on a marine landscape and noticeable particulate matter that could escape a sieve of 500 μm, but that could be filtered with a diameter of 67 micron-sieve (0.06-0.5 mm). MPs are also considered to be particles smaller than 5 mm in size.

MPs of 1μm to 500 μm (5 mm) size are usually found in seawater, and synthetic organic polymers are naturally synthetic and derived from petrol or gas. In 1907, ‘Bakelite’ started mass-production in the 1940s of many lightweight, robust, inert plastics and corrosion-resistant plastics. Such mass manufacturing has expanded the use of plastics, producing nearly 230 million tons of plastics worldwide in 2009.

Micro plastics emerged in the marine and coastal ecosystems in the 1970s, but plastics were not used. Additional additives including flame retardants, antioxidants, and antistatic and weakening agents were used in these. MPs derived from land and sea-based sources as well as the broader use of plastics have expanded their bulk presence in the marine environment in the following decades.

Unlimited fishing, maritime and leisure use of the oceans, synthetic nylon equipment, coastal migration, beach beds, and maritime transport are not yet fully documented. Seas, ocean gyres, and coastal sediments have been used for larger plastic collections. Plastic accumulation in the world’s oceans was estimated by Van Sebille in 2014, and 15 to 511012 tons of particulate matter weighed between 93 and 236103 tons, representing approximately one percent of the plastic content in the marine environment.

Due to increased demand, oceanic marine plastic pollution has become an increasingly global issue. This has a huge impact not only on marine biodiversity but also on the protection of the public and various infectious diseases found in both aquatic and human organisms. A massive amount of money has been spent on plastic waste worldwide.

The growth of plastics started in the 1940s and is growing massively. This important research aims to achieve goals such as identifying plastic products, origins, aggregation identification, and validating effective techniques to examine spatio-temporal trends in plastic abundance. This further address, along with recommendations, the potential impacts of plastics on aquatic animals, humans, and future solutions to manage chemical pollution.

Plastics are predominantly dispersed in vast quantities along the coasts and the mid-ocean vortex. The vast range of plastics eaten by marine animals makes their way through the food chain to the human body. The sources, degradation mechanisms, and adverse effects of plastics on both the human body and the environment can be known from research papers. Until recently, plastic waste has largely been overlooked by the scientific community and policymakers, but ecological impacts, as well as the economic/health consequences of plastic contamination, have now gained greater global attention.

Effects on human health

In terms of human health, plastic waste has a direct and indirect effect. The body is exposed to oral plastic ingestion by contaminated plastics. There are no records of accidental plastic ingestion by humans. In the recent past, the use of microphones and nanospheres in pharmaceutical products is highly common, both by nasal, intravenous, and transcutaneous pathways, as well as in nanopolymers contaminated from processed foods.

In many ways, this enters and reveals the human body. For example, the neutral particles that are absorbed by oral intake are present in the intestine. ‘Per Sorption’ for 150 p.m. starch particles Volkheimer was observed by Villi’s tips. The nanostructure contained in the intestines and re-distributed in the liver and spleen predicts the risk of titanium dioxide and the risk of carbon. Owing to their surface properties, hydrophilic and positively charged particles show increased diffusion times.

The resulting ‘corona’ cells and tissues bind to the particle’s toxin level with the nanopolymers. When cations of polymers are stimulated by negative cells, the cytotoxicity level is high. Specific toxicity modes depend on the form of particle and cell and are used in different types of tissue as a source of oxidative damage, inflammation, and accumulation. For all body parts, such as the brain, testis, and reproductive organ, chronic exposure to nanopolymers is a concern.

The biological activity of steroid hormone receptors that represent both estrogenic and androgenic activity is interfered with and thus inhibited by Bisphenol A. Other intermediate receptor effects found in the various models include ERRA binding, disruption of thyroid hormone, altered pancreatic function of beta cells, and effects promoting obesity.

Obesity, cardiovascular disease, multiple reproductive, and developmental disorders are caused by Bisphenol A intake. Including premature human penis and urethra growth, the proliferation of hormone-mediated cancers (e.g., cancers of the breast and prostate), autism, and women’s precocious puberty.

Polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), and aqueous metals are responsible for diseases and breeding defects and have adverse health consequences. The cause of the plastic surface accumulation of contaminants is marine litter. These plastics can hold 1 million times the amount of PCBs compared to seawater, for example.

Plastics serve as a vector whenever the virus and bacteria are natural. Lippsett has reported cholera and gastrointestinal diseases caused by bacteria-rich plastic samples. Besides, marine litter crashes at the local level may cause mariners to experience fatal harm or slaughter.

Impacts on marine creatures

Aquatic animals including turtles, seabirds, crabs, shellfish, and worms, have been taken Plastics from marine foods. In addition, the most recent study indicated that more plastics could be used in marine environments. Unnecessary biological symptoms, such as intestinal blocks and energy assimilation disruptions, are caused by the plastic contaminated food chain.

Entanglement is very dangerous to organisms; animals that are entangled will not get food and escape from predators. They have to go hungry or drown sometimes because they are twisted up and powerless. Though animals do not die from injury, interwoven living beings are impaired by their restricted mobility and abbreviated scavenging ability. Skin infections, removal of septic legs due to recorded interlock in turtles. The operculum of a juvenile sea bream (Pagellus acarne) is impaired by the plastic fiber, resulting in fish mortality.

The sharks’ plastic tangling prevents the mouth and affects systems for air circulation and scavenging mechanisms. For a longer period, the normal growth of a short-finned mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) was found to be tangled with plastic. Furthermore, its speed and maneuverability have been limited by lead bio fouling. A gray seal (Halichoerus grypus) was written down by Lucas with an unusual structure.

Smaller bodies of the sea (e.g., crabs, octopuses, and fish) are typically trapped in abandoned aquatic waste and with significant loss of life. Eventually, sponges, gorgonians, and corals, typically caught by infectious fishing services, die. Entanglement causes major deaths of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) and has affected the death of about a quadrant of birds reported in the North Sea in 1980, and remains a risk to the lives of today’s living creatures.

Possible mitigation pathways

A wide variety of steps to improve the effectiveness of different forms of plastic that enter the aquatic environment continuously must be challenged. Shipping can be the key source of marine plastic debris and should focus specifically on the plastics business. Plastic waste from the soil is deposited in the sea. This haphazard dumping into the sea of waste materials was banned. Nonetheless, contaminants were emitted at sea by various types of ships that were exempt until the end of 1988.

To track chemical pellets, early mitigation steps have been used as these are considered to be high in the marine environment and consumed by marine organisms. The decreased growth of plants greatly reduces industrial pellets reaching the marine region.

Compliance initiatives such as Operation Clean Sweep, developed in the United States in 1992 to control chemical pellets, were initiated by the plastics industry, followed by many other producers worldwide.

Reducing and avoiding the development of marine waste into the ocean are various methods of prevention. Source minimization, waste-to-energy transfer, waste recycling and reprocessing, reception facilities at the port, and equipment construction are effective in the management of marine waste.

Eco-design items are also an effective way of minimizing harmful ocean litter from the sea. These schemes involve the creation of schematic packaging for reuse (such as shampoo bottles) and the development of goods that can be transported and stored for a long time (such as bicycles) and enhanced products (e.g., washing detergents).

In addition, many other methods, such as the growth of recycled packaging materials, the network of open-push metal drink cans and drink bottles or chain-based lids, are linked to the minimization of waste goods. The ban on the use of plastic bags is such an essential protective measure to discourage the use of plastic products (for example, Bangladesh limited plastic bags in 2002 and achieved fruitful results). These strategies fall into the four following categories: prevention, mitigation, reduction and behavioral modification.


Over the last decade, marine plastics have been widespread in the oceans and with time and time, recorded data have shown dramatic growth. Marine litter comes mainly from shore, ships, and other sources that have been collected over long distances on the sea after transportation. The study of the spatial and temporal trends of contaminants is complicated by the inability to define size and plastic sampling technology.

Nonetheless, to achieve global solutions, a comprehensive approach is needed to quantify and identify marine debris accurately. Around the coast and mid-ocean gyres, the greatest amount of plastic is contained, but the future of plastics is very uncertain.

Health problems including mortality, morbidity, and reproductive risks are faced by marine animals that eat these plastics. A big global issue has been the harmful chemicals detected by biota by plastic ingestion. Knowledge of the dangers of marine debris steadily grew among individuals in the 1960s and 1970s.

The growing concern is not just about alternatives to plastics that pollute the aquatic environment. The impact of marine waste was noted and played an important role in the policy formulation and recommendations for controlling plastic waste volumes in the 1970s and 1980s.

This writing addresses the growing problem of marine plastics and recommends more attention is paid to the scientific community and policymakers. Plastics researchers have access to the knowledge gap in plastics.
  • In order to resolve plastics-related research gaps in the marine environment, these are critical needs.
  • Set the normal sizes of nano, meso, and microplastic.
  • Improve routine implementation and high efficiency of plastic sampling techniques to correlate well-received results from various fields.
  • Minute plastics and nano plastics are identified by suitable methods inside the aquatic column and sediment.
  • Publishing in the water column the features and properties of disintegration and bio-fouling of plastics.
  • Efficient methods for assessing biota use of plastics through the food network and extending sentinel species (e.g., Fulmars) to detect the plastic abundance.
  • Monitor and consider the harmful effects of ingested plastics inside the food chain on aquatic biota (i.e., death, morbidity, and/or reproduction).
  • List the impact on marine biota (i.e., death, morbidity, and/or reproduction) transferred by microplastics of leaching plastic additives and adsorbed waterborne pollutants.

Author: Senior Researcher at National Oceanographic and Maritime Institute (NOAMI) in Bangladesh.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the author’s own. Therefore, the Bengal Discover Authority won’t take any legal or any other responsibility for the content or accuracy of the author’s opinion for the articles published herein.