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

What are microbeads and why should we ban them?

UPDATE: Over 330,000 people have signed the petition to ban microbeads - add your name here.Washed your face with an exfoliating face scrub recently? Brushed...
Posted by India Thorogood - 14 January, 2016 - 12:57

New Year's plastic resolution: 5 simple ways to help the ocean.

The New Year’s storms have brought a lurid, unmissable reminder to UK beaches, with thousands of bright pink detergent bottles being churned up by the sea. As...
Posted by Willie - 7 January, 2016 - 12:22
Scientist Clare Miller on Arctic Sunrise

Plastic Arctic

For many people the Arctic is seen as one of the last wilderness regions left where there has been limited human impact. However, sampling of marine plastic...
Posted by claire miller - 5 September, 2011 - 11:57

Modern art is (made from) rubbish

It's been an arty week for me. After the polar bear sculptures in the US, an outdoor art group in Devon - Trail Recycled Art in Landscape (Trail) - has made...
Posted by saunvedan - 26 September, 2008 - 16:58

Dead seas: human activities are killing off the oceans

It's official; mankind is killing off our oceans far faster than previously thought. The first global-scale study of human impacts on marine ecosystems,...
Posted by jossc - 15 February, 2008 - 15:14

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