Salty Warriors is a nonprofit organisation founded to empower people who are fighting for the conservation of the marine ecosystems. We support, gather, connect and carry on initiatives in the belief that together we can make a greater impact in our fight against the threats that have pushed our oceans to the brink of collapse: plastic pollution, acidification, overfishing and climate change.
The ocean is where all life came from. Home to an estimated two billion species, marine habitats contain by far the greatest diversity of life on Earth.
The ocean feeds more than one billion people. Many of the world's poor rely on it for food and income through small-scale local fisheries. If managed responsibly, it could help to feed the 9 billion people projected to be on earth by 2050.
The ocean regulates the global climate and makes the planet inhabitable. Its thermal mass and currents buffer temperature, absorb solar radiation and create freshwater rainclouds.
The ocean is the primary lung of the planet. The photosyntesis of the marine flora produces more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere and absorbs the carbon dioxide we cannot breathe.
The Plastic Pollution Crisis
It was engineered to last. And it does it very well.
With bad recyclable properties, low primary production cost and a break down time of hundred of years, all plastic ever created is still around.
Mass production of plastics began around 70 years ago and has been growing relentlessly, with current figures of 270 million tonnes per year produced globally and a waste production often exceeding that number. In 2015, 275 million tonnes were discarded and 8 million tonnes went to the ocean environment. That is a fully-loaded truck every minute.
Million tonnes of plastic ever produced
Million tonnes used just once
Million tonnes recycled and still in use
Million tonnes incinerated
Million tonnes discarded to landfill
Million tonnes enter the oceans yearly
It is estimated that, at the current pace, plastic will outweight fish in the ocean by 2050.
At the brink of collapse
Plastic is an alien material that cannot coexist with life:
Animals get entangled in abandoned ghost nets and starve to death or die of their injuries. They mistake plastic for food —turtles eat primarily jellyfishes, quite similar to plastic bags— or simply ingest the tiny pieces together with the plankton, the base of the marine food chain.
Bigger pieces choke their digestive system, while microplastics are carried up through the chain —eventually to we humans— releasing toxic chemicals that are harmful to life.
Plastic harms the health of coral reefs, which are dying of diseases carried by it. Waste accumulation blocks the sunlight and the vegetation cannot photosynthesize.
And this is only the short version of it.