Most plastic pollution at sea starts out on land as litter on beaches, streets and sidewalks. Rain or overwatering flushes that litter through a storm drain system or directly to creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean. After plastics enter the marine environment they slowly photodegrade into smaller pieces that marine life can mistake for food, sometimes with fatal results. Ocean gyres concentrate plastic pollution in five main areas of the world’s ocean and various research groups are bringing back alarming data documenting plastics impacts.
It's in our homes, offices, vehicles, yards, and playgrounds. We make and use it to package food, bottle products, bag produce, and construct dinnerware, utensils, toys, and more.
Plastics have undoubtedly helped us to manufacture, package and ship goods more easily, however, plastics pose a significant threat to our planet as well.
Part of the problem is plastic itself. The very qualities that make it an adaptable and durable product to use, also make plastic an environmental nightmare. Since plastics don’t biodegrade and instead break down under exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, they simply become smaller and smaller, eventually becoming microplastics. These microplastics get everywhere - they are in our air, water, and food - and are essentially impossible to clean up.
Bottom line: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated (which is also problematic), virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists today in some shape or form.
To reduce the impacts of plastics in the marine environment by raising awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution and by advocating for a reduction of single-use plastics and the recycling of all plastics.