A Plastic Ocean is a feature-length documentary that follows the journey of two explorers as they document the environmental issues associated with plastic pollution and its impact on the environment. With never-before-seen images of marine life and plastic pollution, A Plastic Ocean brings the latest science to life and proves just how serious this issue is.
Dr Christopher Green, a research scientist at Brunel University in London and scientific advisor of the film, shares his five most important things you need to know about plastic pollution.
1. Plastic pollution is happening on a global scale
It is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean from coastal communities every year. That’s enough to fill 15 carrier bags for every metre of coastline on the planet. As a result, plastic litter has been found in marine environments across the globe.
Even the remotest of areas, far from human habitation, have been affected.
Plastic is everywhere
Plastic is contained in many products that you may not be aware of. Plastic micro-beads are used as exfoliates in personal care products, such as facial scrubs and even toothpastes, which are inevitably flushed down the drain. Wet wipes contain plastic and when flushed down the toilet, they find their way into the environment. Even washing our clothes can lead to the release of polyester and acrylic fibres into the ocean from our washing machines.
Plastic pollution is an ongoing issue
A recent study of plastic waste entering the oceans found that the top 20 contributors were mainly middle-income countries with growing economies, with China being the largest contributor. Developed countries are not off the hook, however. Whilst our waste management infrastructure is more effective, the amount of plastic waste we produce per person is high and we litter.