Plastics make up the majority of litter found on beaches in the UK and around the world.
Plastic can be dangerous for marine animals because they may mistake plastic litter for food and try to eat it or get tangled in it.
Plastics degrade very slowly in the ocean and usually break down slowly into smaller pieces called microplastics, most of them will never completely disappear from the sea. Even areas of the deep seabed which are being explored for the first time are polluted by human litter, one study from the waters around Europe found a variety of marine litter in many deep sea locations, most of this was plastic.
If you want to take action to help reduce the problem of plastic pollution there are some simple things you can do:
1. Recycle plastics at home
2. Pledge to break the bag habit and stop using single use carrier bags
3. Use a reusable water bottle
4. Take part in local beach cleans, or do a two minute beach clean next time you visit the beach
5. Think before you flush
6. Don’t let go and find wildlife friendly alternatives to balloon releases
7. Choose scrubs without microbeads
8. If you go fishing try to minimise tackle loss and put fishing litter in the bin
9. Avoid excess packaging whenever you can
10. Raise awareness of the problem and convince friends/family to join you with all of the above!