Plastic: A Global Crisis

For every piece of plastic on the surface, there are a dozen pieces of plastic on the seafloor

Marine mammals with stomachs full of shopping bags, sea turtles’ limbs entwined in discarded fishing gear, beaches covered with mounds of plastic flotsam… these are just some of the more visual aspects of the plastic-pollution that is currently plaguing our oceans.

Proverbially, these are just the ‘tip of the iceberg,’ as the unseen aspects — plastics littering the ocean floor and microplastics, virtually naked to the eye — are equally as disturbing and show to what extent plastic pollution is affecting both human and marine life.

Given the scale of problem, to stop plastic pollution in our oceans, we must start from its source: production, particularly when it comes to the use of unnecessary single-use plastics like shopping bags, hygiene products, drinking straws and stirrers, plates and cutlery.

For over a decade, Oceana has been documenting plastic pollution in our oceans as part of our expeditions, especially at great depths using our ROV, where we’ve seen first-hand how this epidemic is affecting marine habitats and organisms directly.

Oceana will continue to document plastic pollution in our oceans and provide science-based advocacy in order to rapidly reduce plastic generation and promote long-lasting, sustainable alternatives that tackle the global plastic crisis in the oceans.

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