Unprecedented growth in the production and use of plastics is triggering a global environmental crisis. Each year, up to 12 million tonnes of plastics leak into the ocean, an amount set to quadruple by 2050 (from 2017 levels) unless major reform is put in place. Over 900 species are known to have ingested or been entangled in marine plastic pollution, killing hundreds of thousands of animals every year. Around 200 million tonnes of plastic are already in the oceans, and 51 trillion plastic particles are already present in surface waters alone.
Yet while the problems of plastics in our oceans have gained particular attention in recent years, the negative impacts extend beyond just the marine environment; plastics also affect freshwater, climate stability, soils, and public health with widespread environmental, economic, and social impacts. Toxic chemicals from plastic have also now made their way into the human food chain and are linked to a higher risk of cancer, obesity, and heart disease. As this pollution is global in nature, so must be the solution. The only way to fundamentally solve it is through action to significantly reduce plastic production and regulate the industry at multiple levels.
Urgent action is needed to significantly reduce plastic consumption and waste to end the devastating pollution of our oceans. We are campaigning to phase out all unnecessary plastic use and significantly improve reuse and recycling.