How OceanHero Helps Clean Our Oceans

"Life in Ocean" by guschen802 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Olivia Emig, Writer

We all know that plastic in our oceans has been a big problem for a while now. In an article written by Julia Jacobo, she states that over 8 million metric tons of plastic gets into the oceans every year, and globally, over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced. 

According to OceanHero, 91% of single use plastics aren’t recycled. That plastic has to go somewhere, and unfortunately, usually ends up in the food chain. The fish and other animals in the ocean ingest the microplastics in the water where it is stored until we eat that animal. They predict that by 2050, there will be more  pieces of plastic in the ocean than fish.

According to globalnews.ca, the average human adult usually ingests 126 to 142 particles of plastic every day, and inhales 132- 170 particles. The thought of eating and breathing plastic can be scary, and thankfully, there are organizations who are trying to reduce the amount of plastic in our water and air.

The main source of the single use plastics that end up in the water is people living in extreme poverty, as stated on the OceanHero website. When people are living in such horrible conditions, recycling and reusing things aren’t really their first thought. Since the single use plastics have no value to the people, the trash usually gets dumped into the environment. 

The way OceanHero cleans up ocean bound plastics is by paying people in need to pick them up and bring them to one of their many recycling hubs. OceanHero, along with their partner PlasticBank, has these stations up in Haiti, the Philippines, Indonesia, and soon, Brazil. 

At these hubs, OceanHero has over 4,000 collectors turning in garbage by the pound in exchange for money. Every 5 searches with OceanHero, they are able to pay one person to pick up the equivalent of a plastic bottle. 

To help clean our oceans even just a little bit, make OceanHero your default browser here