Plastics

Last edited 7 November 2016 at 12:15pm

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

Microbeads - the story so far….

Last Wednesday on World Oceans Day we handed our microbeads petition into Number 10. Over 300,000 of you signed the petition - one of the biggest petitions in...
Posted by Elisabeth Whitebread - 21 June, 2016 - 16:17

Can the Cosmetics Industry help win a microbead ban?

 On World Oceans Day, while we handed in our BanTheBead petition, I took a trip down to Parliament to attend the Environmental Audit Committee’s...
Posted by FariahSyed - 13 June, 2016 - 10:34
312,239 signatures on the microbeads petition

Taking Microbeads straight to No10!

Yesterday, on a rainy summer’s day we took the petition urging David Cameron to ban microbeads to Number 10 Downing Street, complete with 312,239 of YOUR...
Posted by Fiona Nicholls - 9 June, 2016 - 13:27

Baby fish are hooked on plastic junk food

Today brought yet more evidence that putting plastic in the ocean is probably not the best idea humankind has ever had.Scientists from Uppsala University in...
Posted by alice.hunter - 3 June, 2016 - 10:15

World's oldest wild bird has a new chick - but is it a doomed messenger in an increasingly polluted ocean?

Imagine becoming a parent at the age of 65. It might seem miraculous but that is what has happened to the world’s oldest known wild bird, an Albatross living...
Posted by Willie - 16 February, 2016 - 13:31

Follow Greenpeace UK