Ocean Pollution: Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans

Our oceans make up around 70% of the planet’s surface, yet despite this we’ve only managed to map around 20%. Leaving 80% of all the world’s oceans, unmapped, unobserved and unexplored – Meaning we haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding our oceans, and yet we’re already managing to destroy them.

The United Nations Environment Programme – Also known as ‘UNEP’, is urging people to try and eliminate microplastics from our oceans, while aiming to put an end to the excessive and wasteful use of single-use plastics such as bottles, plastic bags and more. This is due to the fact that almost 80% of all litter within the world’s oceans is made up from plastic. Reports suggest that as much as 51 trillion microplastic particles currently pollute our oceans – This is roughly 500X more than there are stars in our own galaxy.

Recently, a £20 million project intended to rid the ocean of plastic waste by using a 2,000ft long barrier (Nicknamed ‘Wilson’ or ‘System 001’) has been launched. The aim of this project is mainly to fight The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is roughly 3 times the size of France – Located between Hawaii and California. However, this project has recently hit a snag, with plastic actually exiting the system once it is collected, meaning the company have had to go back to the drawing board to create something new and eliminate this problem.

But why leave it to others to fix when many of us are just as (if not more) to blame than those currently working to clean it up. Well, we’re not asking you to spend £20 million in order to try and make a difference, but with some simple lifestyle changes you could make a bigger difference than you realise. Ditch plastic water bottles, in favour of BPA free, stainless steel drink bottles, such as these, stop using single-use plastic carrier bags, and just generally think about small ways you can make a difference.

Check out this infographic from Direct Packaging Solutionsto see the extent of damage we manage to cause to our oceans.

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