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Green Turtle entangled in a discarded fishing net Plastic rubbish pollution in ocean environment

Protecting our oceans against the threat of plastic

An estimated 12.7 million metric tons of plastic waste is dumped into the world’s oceans each year. The mass of plastic polluting the oceans may be as high as 100 million tonnes.

100,000
marine mammals are dying each year
Tenfold
plastic in the seas will rise tenfold by 2025
5 trillion
pieces of plastic are floating in the world’s oceans

Since World War 2 the amount of plastic has risen dramatically, largely because of the proliferation of single-use products and packaging, household and consumer waste, littering and poor waste management.

With ever-growing populations, plastic is turning up in every corner of our planet – from Cornish beaches to uninhabited Pacific islands. No single place has escaped contamination.

Ongoing research and reports indicate that more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic (most of them microplastics) float in our oceans. Undeniably, this is causing devastating damage to the entire food chain. Plastics of all sizes are ingested or entangle marine animals causing injury, disease and mortalities. It is estimated that more than one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year. And these are the figures of the species we are aware of.

Reports suggest that plastic in the seas will rise tenfold by 2025 if no immediate action is taken to dramatically reduce waste generation and manage it more effectively.

We're working with our clients and other stakeholders to help address the issue of marine plastic pollution. Our teams are focusing on solutions and pooling resources while supporting public awareness and our clients' evolving needs in managing their own plastic footprint.

How does plastic end up in our oceans?

1. Litter

Plastic bottles and packaging littered on our streets can be blown into drains and river and flow to the sea.

2. Down the plughole

Everything from the microbeads in our toothpaste to synthetic clothing fibers that shed in washing machines and wet wipes flushed down the toilet can end up flowing into the ocean.

3. Landfill

Mountains of plastic in open dumps can be blown away and end up in the sea. As more plastic is produced, more of it ends up in our oceans. Plastic flows on ocean currents all over the world so even uninhabited islands in the pacific and arctic are becoming dumping grounds for plastic.

How can we reduce plastic pollution?

1. Say no to disposable plastics

Grocery bags, plastic wraps, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee-cup lids are all single use plastics, protect our oceans by refusing to use them.

2. Stop buying water

Each year, close to 20 billion plastic bottles are tossed away. Carry a reusable bottle and don’t resort to disposable plastic bottles.

3. Boycott microbeads

The micro-plastic beads found in so many products might look harmless, but they slip through water-treatment plants and marine animals can mistake them for food.

4. Cook more

Making your own meals doesn’t involve takeout containers and utensils. When you order a takeaway, don’t accept plastic cutlery. When dining in restaurants or cafes, bring your own food-storage containers for leftovers.

5. Buy second-hand items

Purchase second-hand items and look to reuse and recycle. New toys and electronic gadgets come with all kinds of plastic packaging.

6. Recycle!

It seems obvious, but, the more the better!

7. Buy in bulk

Consider the product-to-packaging ratio and select the bigger container instead of buying several smaller ones over time.

8. Engage manufacturers

Request that less plastic is used in their products and work with them to make them aware of the impacts their packaging and products are having on the environment.

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