Plastics

Last edited 7 November 2016 at 1:15pm

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.

Campaign updates

Child on a beach holding old bottle caps

Plastics beach clean on the Isle of Mull

Our beach clean began with a 2 hour drive up the most amazing coastline from Fionnphort to Ulva on the Isle of Mull (having stopped by Beluga II in Tobermory)...
Posted by Frank Hewetson - 23 June, 2017 - 10:26
Picture of a Coke bottle on a beach

Coca-Cola's marketing strategy = a gift for the End Ocean Plastics campaign

Oh the irony. As part of a millennial-focused marketing strategy to associate Coca-Cola with beach holiday fun and sunkissed selfies, Coke last month launched...
Posted by Louisa Casson - 22 June, 2017 - 14:16
Puffins flying around cliffs with the sea in the background

What I learnt on board the Beluga

This week hasn’t been a normal “day at the office”. I’ve spent the last few days on board the Beluga II, the Greenpeace boat currently sailing around the...
Posted by Louisa Casson - 14 June, 2017 - 13:26
Picture of empty Coca-Cola bottles on a beach in Scotland

When Coca-Cola washes its hands of the ocean plastic problem, this is where the problem washes up

Last week I was standing over a pile of plastic Coca-Cola bottles, on a remote beach in Mull on the west coast of Scotland. What awful littering, many...
Posted by Luke Massey - 12 June, 2017 - 16:08

In Pictures: Campaigning to end Ocean Plastics, the Beluga II Tour so far

Last month our ship the Beluga II set sail on a two-month scientific expedition around Scotland investigating the impact of ocean plastic pollution on some of...
Posted by Angela Glienicke - 7 June, 2017 - 13:08

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