world oceans day: preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.

Earlier this week we issued a blog on World Environment Day, where we discussed the simple measures you can take to make your office more eco-friendly. Today is World Ocean Day allowing us to recycle (pun intended) the ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ theme.

The ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ theme for this also coincides with today’s event, which is ‘National Oceans Day’. Following on from the plastic prevention theme, this year’s World Oceans Day’s theme is ‘Preventing Plastic Pollution and Encouraging Solutions for Healthy Oceans’.

Alarmingly, plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world. That’s Every. Single. Beach. From busy tourist beaches to uninhabited beaches on tropical islands. This issue however is not just aesthetic, it’s slowly affecting the oceans eco-system, fish, corals and many other elements. Here are some plastic statistics that you may find shocking (source: surfers against sewage).

PLASTIC POLLUTION FACTS AND STATS

  • Scientists have recently discovered micro plastics embedded deep in the Arctic ice.
  • In 1950, the world’s population of 2.5 billion produced 1.5 million tons of plastic; in 2016, a global population of more than 7 billion people produced over 320 million tons of plastic. This is set to double by 2034 unless global action is taken seriously.
  • Every day approximately 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans.
  • There may now be around 5.25 trillion macro and micro plastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes in total.
  • Plastics consistently make up 60 to 90% of all marine debris studied.
  • Approximately, 5000 items of marine plastic pollution have been found per mile of beach in the UK alone.
  • Over 150 plastic bottles litter each mile of UK beaches – most of these take at least 450 years to decompose.
  • Recent studies have revealed marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabird species examined.
  • 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually – that’s not even taking into consideration how many more are killed through overfishing and rising sea temperatures and acidity.

You may have also seen the story in the news this week where a whale in Thailand died from swallowing over 80 plastic bags. This is sad, but unfortunately a harsh reality that the vast majority of our oceans creatures now face.

Plastic rubbish is a serious problem for our ocean, and especially all the animals that call it home, but together we can be part of the solution. At polkadotfrog we are committed to providing a healthy working environment for all, but what about a healthy planet? Will you stop using single use plastic bags, bottles and straws to help our ocean? Read our advice here on how you can cut down on plastic consumption in the workplace.