This Christmas, help us tackle plastic pollution in our ocean

Plastic pollution kills hundreds of thousands of marine animals every year, from ingesting plastic fragments, or getting tangled up in plastic floating at sea.

Will you help us to stop throwaway plastic from choking our ocean?

£10 could help fight illegal ivory trade

Burning ivory

£10 could help uncover evidence on the ivory trade to share with international agencies like Interpol and the United Nations.

£25 could help expose the criminals at the heart of illegal logging

Filming

£25 could help pay for covert GPS systems that can track illegal timber movement in real time.

 Albatros in flight

Wildlife in peril

Plastic rubbish is having a devastating effect on marine life.

Accidentally eating plastic is now a common problem for many animals, including seabirds. The bits of plastic are impossible to digest and can get stuck in the stomach. They can cause a fatal blockage, or reduce the amount of space for food, preventing the animal from eating enough to survive.

Plastic rubbish is also entering the food chain in the form of tiny ‘microplastic’ particles, created as plastic slowly breaks down in the water. These poisonous particles resemble plankton or algae, and are consumed by tiny marine animals, which in turn are eaten by bigger creatures.

Animals swimming underwater, like whales, turtles and dolphins, can get tangled up in plastic litter and fishing gear, leaving them trapped, or unable to move their limbs freely.

Beach plastic

The plastic problem

Eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean each year, and without action, this figure is likely to quadruple by 2050. Recycling centres across the world are unable to keep up with demand. We strongly believe that the only long-term solution to this issue is to reduce plastic production at source.

In the UK, the grocery retail sector is the biggest user of plastic packaging. Almost none of it is meant to be refilled, and some of it isn’t even recyclable.

Plastic items made today could stay intact halfway to the next millennium, yet, absurdly, this packaging has been designed to be used just once and then thrown away.

What can we do?

We’ve teamed up with Greenpeace UK to scrutinise how supermarkets are responding to this crisis. We’re asking for large reductions in the overall amount of single-use plastic packaging, the introduction of refillable packaging, and urgent elimination of non-recyclable plastics. Our campaigners are working to ensure commitments from the UK’s largest supermarkets to make these reductions possible.

Watch our Supermarket Survey awards video to find out how they’re doing so far:

 

We’re also working with like-minded organisations to secure new UK and European policy measures on reducing plastic pollution from single-use plastics and fishing gear. Looking forward, our ambition is to secure a legally binding global agreement on marine plastic pollution.

It’s going to take a lot of work, but we hope you share our vision of a future with a clean, healthy and thriving ocean.

Without drastic action, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Please help us protect our planet by making a gift today.

Your donation not only supports our work on marine plastic pollution, but also all our other vital campaigns to preserve the natural world for future generations.

Thank you.


£10 could help fight illegal ivory trade

Burning ivory

£10 could help uncover evidence on the ivory trade to share with international agencies like Interpol and the United Nations.

£25 could help expose the criminals at the heart of illegal logging

Filming

£25 could help pay for covert GPS systems that can track illegal timber movement in real time.