Water pollution is a huge issue, not only facing the Arctic but also the rest of the world. Water pollution occurs when plastic or waste pollutes water bodies. There are several different types of water pollution, but the main three impacts damaging the Arctic, which is the natural habitat of the beluga whale, are surface water pollution, suspended matter pollution, and Marine Litter.
It is called Surface water pollution when harmful substances invade oceans, rivers and/or seas such as other water bodies. Two million tons of human waste is disposed into the water every day 69% of these substances get eaten by birds and sea animals which therefore die because they get stuck or choke on them. The most commonly sighted humanmade object at sea is Plastic, and with 18,000 bits of plastic rubbish floating on every square kilometer of the world’s oceans you can see that humans have overdosed the waters with waste!
This waste can easily be transported to the Arctic waters by ocean currents. When some pollutants do not dissolve in water and they remain in suspension in water, we say suspended matter pollution occurred. Sometimes, they end up deposited on ocean floors, and it can also include oil spills. BP caused a Massive oil spill in the year 2010. Over 1,000 mammals have been reported dead, and many of them were on the endangered species list, which is also including many beluga whales. Marine litter is considered one of the most important pollution problems affecting the marine environment globally.
The marine litter consists of items that have been made or used by people and intentionally discarded into sea´s, rivers or oceans, which means that when plastic and other items escape waste collections and enter our environment.
This can have serious effects on wildlife over or under water, and it is also a waste of valuable resources which can be recycled or used to make energy and fuel. Six million tons (weighing about the same as a million elephants) of debris and rubbish gets dumped into the world’s oceans every year. There are already many organizations and companies whose goal is to make the oceans cleaner and recycle plastic for the risk or marine litter to reduce, for example, the NABU.
The NABU recycles plastic with the goal being that less plastic causes water pollution and waste in the ocean. These types of water pollution affect the Arctic and marine life in a very negative way because humans unintentionally overfill and destroy the beluga whales habitat and kill wildlife.