Plastic is everywhere. Useful and convenient, it’s also a massive pollution problem, especially in our oceans. Turtles and seabirds become ensnared in discarded plastics, and tiny microplastics are eaten by pretty much everything. We need to solve this problem at the source, and produce less plastic in the first place.
Plastic is incredibly versatile and long-lasting, finding its way into every corner of our lives. But the very qualities that make plastic so useful also make it a huge problem. Cheap and disposable, plastic has been a symbol of our throwaway culture. As a result, vast quantities pollute our world. Much of it flows into the oceans, turning them into a plastic soup. A truckload of plastic enters the ocean every single minute and UK supermarkets produce 800,000 tonnes every year. With production increasing, that’s set to rise.
Bottles, pots and food trays are immediately obvious, but other types of plastic pollution can be harder to spot. When plastic breaks down it doesn’t disappear, it gets smaller creating tiny particles called microplastics. Even clothes made from artificial materials shed microplastic fibres when they’re washed. Microbeads, another type of microplastic, are sometimes added to products such as cosmetics and toothpaste. Impossible to filter from waste water, they end up in our oceans.
– Green Peace