Colombia is an amazing place that offers many different things. One of its best characteristics is the ocean. Colombia is known for having coastline on the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, which makes it an ocean country. These oceans are very important for Colombia due to its maritime territory being over 45% of its total territory. The ocean is important for Colombia’s economy because ships can enter the country and because many families sustain themselves through fishing. The ocean moves the economy. Each day more contamination enters Colombia’s oceans. Sadly, it has been proven that many people throw their trash into the oceans and rivers. For example, the Magdalena River is one of the most contaminated rivers in the world, and this river connects to the Caribbean Sea. The ocean is registered as having a high contamination rate caused by the trash that the rivers have, and due to industrial, oily, domestic, and agrochemical waste.
According to many investigations, Colombia consumes 24 kilos of plastic per person in a year, and Colombia has about 50 million people. Researchers say that Colombia produces about 12 million tons of solid waste per year, and only recycles 17% of it. Experts are expecting a tsunami on the Colombian coasts due to all the plastic and contamination. Marine biologist Sandra Bessudo said in an EJE21 article, “It’s shocking to see that in some areas of the Pacific Ocean there’s so much trash that kids can’t differentiate between a natural plant and a plastic one.” Silvia Gomez, environmentalist and director of Greenpeace Colombia, remarked in a Greenpeace article, “It is shocking to see how plastic is erasing the beauty of Colombia.” This contamination is not just affecting animals, but also humans. Some people that live on the coasts of Colombia are constantly getting diseases from eating contaminated animals.
It’s time to start worrying about our country and making a difference. You can help by using fewer plastic objects, recycling, and making sure that you always throw away your trash in a container, rather than on the ground. Remember, if we all work hard, it’s not too late to make Colombia’s oceans free from plastic once again and return it to all its glory!
By Gabriela Granados, 6th