Environmental Impact of Sea Garbage Trash Can and Basic Methods of Cleaning Seawater

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Sewanee University of the South
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Literature review
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1) Environmental Impact of Sea garbage trash can

There is a lot of garbage discarded into oceans and seas. In the last 50 years, the use of plastics has increased considerably, and this has resulted in an enormous amount of garbage deposited in the sea and beaches. There are a lot of harmful effects of these garbage trash cans.

, they kill a lot of sea animals. Research shows that more than 100,000 sea animals such as whales and dolphins die every year because of trash cans and other plastic pollutants. Sea animals consume these trash cans assuming that it is food (Hamblin, 2014). Ingestion of the garbage cans is not possible, as such, even when the animal dies, the trash cans remain intact and do not decompose. Upon the decomposition of the animal's body, the plastics are left undecomposed, and another animal ingests them and dies. Many sea animals would keep dying daily unless this issue addressed.

Secondly, garbage trash cans are non-biodegradable. They stay for a very long duration of time before they decompose. Studies have shown that they take at least 1000 years to decompose. Therefore, once they find their way into the water, their effects will be felt for 1000 years or more (Rios et al., 2015).

Garbage trash cans also make beaches to be dirty, prevent people from swimming, and affect the local fisheries negatively. Some beaches around the world are buried under 10 to 15 feet of trash. The waste creates an eyesore and pollutes the environment. It is not easy to clean all these garbage and a lot of resources and finances are spent in cleaning beaches and water bodies.

2) Basic Methods of cleaning seawater and purification

There are several ways through which water purification is achieved. These methods are categorized into: chemicals, filtration, separation, and oxidation. Contaminants present in water are bacteria, minerals, particulates or chemicals among others.

Purification of water is through Chlorination, electronic cleaning, aeration, and coagulation. Water fluoridation is also used to clean sea water. Water conditioning is used to lower the effects of hard water. Boiling, distillation, reverse osmosis, direct contact membrane distillation, desalination, gas hydrate crystals centrifuge method, chemical oxidation, and bioremediation are effective methods used in water purification (Hazen, 2016).

Cleaning and purification of seawater can be achieved through the containment and proper cleaning of oil spills when boating. Oil spills should be cleaned using oil absorbent rags and materials.

All sewage should be treated before being released into water bodies. Factories which discharge their refuse and effluent into water should treat it first to prevent the toxic and harmful materials from polluting the sea. Drainage water channeled towards water bodies should also be treated and toxic pollutants eliminated (Hazen, 2016). There should also be a routine cleaning and treatment of all water bodies instead of waiting until when the problem is almost unmanageable. There should be a regular system of testing water bodies to ensure that pollution levels are controlled and maintained below certain levels.

People should be encouraged to use organic alternatives to household detergents and cleaners. The use of lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda for household cleaning should be promoted. The use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and harsh chemical cleaners that can easily wash into waterways should be avoided. The use of reusable items should be encouraged, and trash should be thrown away in proper receptacles (EPA, 2015).



Hamblin, Jacob Darwin (2014) Poison in the Well: Radioactive Waste in the Oceans at the Dawn of the Nuclear Age. Rutgers University Press

Hazen, Allen. (2016). Clean Water and How to Get It. New York:Wiley. p. 102

Rios, L. M.; Moore, C.; Jones, P. R. (2015). "Persistent organic pollutants carried by synthetic polymers in the ocean environment". Marine Pollution Bulletin

US EPA. 2015."Ground Water and Drinking Water." Overview of drinking water topics and detailed information on US regulatory program.


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