Plastics

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

How Scotland’s marine wildlife is in danger from plastic pollution

Scotland is the envy of the world with its rich waters teeming with wildlife and spectacular coastlines and beaches. But it’s increasingly at threat from the...
Posted by TishaBrown - 4 June, 2017 - 08:27

Are basking sharks eating plastic? We went to find out.

“Basking sharks!” At 5am, these words shatter the silence in the sleeping quarters on the lower deck of the ship. The crew burst into life, wrestling on...
Posted by Luke Massey - 31 May, 2017 - 16:24

Do the manifestos commit to end ocean plastics?

No matter which party possible MPs belong to, or which constituency they are campaigning to represent, they all have a responsibility to help end ocean...
Posted by Louisa Casson - 22 May, 2017 - 10:50
A picture of Marcela, member of GPUK oceans team, onboard the Beluga II boat

Onboard the Beluga II

Last week I had the privilege to sail along the east coast of Scotland on board Greenpeace’s ship the Beluga II. This is the start of a two-month expedition...
Posted by Marcela Teran - 19 May, 2017 - 12:00

An uninhabited island deep in the South Pacific falls prey to a plague - of plastic.

It's a horror story.A truly shocking 38 million pieces of plastic have been found on Henderson Island, one of the Pitcairn Islands that make up one of the UK’s...
Posted by Louisa Casson - 16 May, 2017 - 12:42

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