How Plastic Gets into the Ocean

Plastic has been found in more than 60% of all seabirds and in 100% of sea turtles species, that mistake plastic for food. And when animals ingest plastic, it can cause life-threatening problems, including reduced fitness, nutrient uptake and feeding efficiency—all vital for survival.

How Plastic gets into the ocean?


Improper waste disposal, illegal dumping, and carelessness contribute to the increase in plastic pollution. People discard their waste on the ground or right in the water, assuming that a little bit won’t hurt anything. Unfortunately, that assumption has led to the problems we face today.

The wind:

You may recycle like a champ, but wind gusts could tip your bin over or whisk a few pieces away while being transported to your local recycling facility. Many plastics are lightweight and flexible and can easily be blown into rivers or storm drains that flow out to sea. 

Industrial leakage: 

Improper disposal of plastic doesn’t just happen on an individual level: Companies with lax collection and disposal practices for construction materials, synthetic textiles, plastic pellets, and other waste are largely responsible for plastic entering the environment.

Down the drain: 

Congress passed the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, which banned the use of microbeads in rinse-off health and cosmetic products, but it didn’t address other types of microplastics. This means plastic may lurk in your personal care routine and get washed down the drain. Next time you stock up on sundries, check the packaging labels and try to avoid these ingredients:

· Polyethylene

· Polypropylene

· Polyethylene terephthalate

· Polymethyl

Microfibers are another risk for plastic entering the ocean. These plastic fibers shed off synthetic clothing in the washing machine. Like microplastics, microfibers are so tiny that wastewater plants have difficulty filtering them out, offering a direct pathway to the ocean.

How to help? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Dispose of waste properly no matter where you are. Get involved and participate in local cleanups in your area. Remember that our land and sea are connected.

Learn more about EvCC Sustainability!

Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator