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Woman spotlights common shipping occurrence wreaking havoc on oceans: 'Around 1,300 … are lost in the ocean every single year'

"Do they come back for it? No. They just let it sink."

"Do they come back for it? No. They just let it sink."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A woman has given people yet another reason to shop local and avoid fast fashion after highlighting a disturbing issue wreaking havoc on our oceans. 

"Be cautious of where your purchases come from," Brooke Buckman (@brooke.buckman) warned in the caption of her TikTok explainer. In the video, Brooke displays a map filled with lines of international shipping routes.

"The trade routes aren't a problem, but the shipping containers are ... It is estimated that around 1,300 shipping containers are lost in the ocean every single year," she explains, referencing a report by the World Shipping Council. 

"And what do they do about this? Do they pick it up? Do they come back for it? No. They just let it sink. And its components are left to sit in the ocean," she continues, before highlighting an incident from 1992 when 28,000 rubber ducks were lost by a cargo ship. 

"Look at this trade route," she adds. "Now imagine how many cargo ships are dropping shipping containers into the ocean on a daily basis." 

The clip concludes with a photo of an otherwise beautiful beach strewn with trash. While it's not clear whether the sad image was the direct result of a lost container, it was still a sobering reminder of the amount of unnecessary waste generated by humans — waste that often leads to the death of wildlife and releases toxins into our environment. 

@brooke.buckman Be cautious of where your purchases come from. 🚢 #greenscreen #sheinhaul #plasticpollution #fastfashion #fastfashionsucks ♬ Suspense, horror, piano and music box - takaya

"The problem is consumerism, not the containers," another TikToker wrote in the comment section, prompting agreement from Brooke in response. 

As detailed by the U.N. Environment Programme, people are purchasing an estimated 60% more clothes in the modern era but wearing them for half as long. The fast fashion industry is a major part of this problem, as it churns out high volumes of cheap clothes that are bought by consumers trying to keep up with the latest trends

These low-quality items don't last as long, though, meaning that people have to spend even more money on new items and typically send their worn-out clothes to landfills, where they release the potent heat-trapping gas methane when they break down.

The excess methane then contributes to the overheating of our planet, which has been linked to extreme weather events.

According to offshore container supplier Cargostore Worldwide, severe weather caused by a changing climate "has contributed greatly to lost containers just as much, if not more" than other human factors such as shortcut-taking to cut costs and improper cargo weight reporting. 

While some TikTokers pointed out that fast fashion was at a more affordable price point, making them hesitant to let it go, others offered alternative solutions.

"The thrift store is the same price or cheaper and better quality," one person said. 

"Thank you so much for posting about this," said another. "There are so many horrible components about fast fashion." 

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