2 May 2017 - There will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, environmentalists have warned.
The amount of plastic litter on our beaches has increased by 180% in the last 20 years and has become a massive threat to marine wildlife.
Plastic bags, bottles and tiny plastic pieces are regularly found in the stomachs of turtles and other sea creatures, and in some cases have caused their death from starvation or choking.
This is why the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is urging people to take part in its Plastic Challenge throughout June.
It is asking people to give up single-use plastics for the whole month.
The challenge is to say goodbye to conveniences like pre-packed sandwiches, ready meals and plastic-bottled drinks for a day, a week or, if they can manage it, the whole of June.
Simon Reeve, TV presenter and ambassador for the challenge, said: “Our planet is becoming poisoned by plastic. The vast amount in our oceans has become an environmental emergency as a direct result of our throwaway society.
“That’s why I’m supporting thousands of people living without single use plastic this June as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s Plastic Challenge. Don’t just get depressed about plastic – stop using it!”
Last year almost 1,000 people took part in the MCS Plastic Challenge, and over 95% said they would continue reducing their plastic use after the challenge was over. The charity hopes even more people will take part in 2017.
“This is a challenge that you can make as easy or as hard for yourself as you like,” said Dr Sue Kinsey, MCS technical specialist. “But however you choose to do it, you can’t fail to realise just how reliant on plastic we’ve become. Some things are really tough to replace, however much you want to give up single-use plastic."
Among the hardest things people found to replace were milk containers, dried goods packaged in single use plastic like pasta, rice and pulses, loo paper and toothpaste.
MCS says that many people who take on the challenge really do get stuck in.