Right now an estimated 12.7 million tonnes of plastic – everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads – end up in our oceans each year. That’s a truck load of rubbish a minute.
Travelling on ocean currents this plastic is now turning up in every corner of our planet – from Cornish beaches, to uninhabited Pacific islands. It is even being found trapped in Arctic ice.
Our oceans are slowly turning into a plastic soup and the effects on ocean life are chilling. Big pieces of plastic are choking and entangling turtles and seabirds and tiny pieces are clogging the stomachs of creatures who mistake it for food, from tiny zooplankton to whales. Plastic is now entering every level of the ocean food chain and even ending up in the seafood on our plates.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Greenpeace is campaigning to end the flow of plastic into our oceans.
We are calling on big corporations to act to reduce their plastic footprint – and stop producing excessive plastic packaging that is designed to be used once then thrown away.
We are also calling on governments to act to tackle this problem, by creating closed loop systems that allow us to recover and reuse materials rather than waste them.
It’s not too late – if we act together now we can protect the world’s precious oceans for future generations.