12 Apr 2018 - Sea Shepherd, an international non-profit focusing on marine conservation, has launched a new campaign to increase awareness of the “overwhelming plastic pollution of the ocean,” the organization said in a press release.
The campaign was created by FF New York and is a visual, “dreamlike and colorful” representation intended to “highlight the sad reality of sea animals trapped in plastic waste.”
Some areas of the sea are so polluted that patches of plastic are as large as entire countries. More than one million marine animals are trapped in this plastic and inevitably die every year.
The CEO of Sea Shepherd Global, Captain Alex Cornelissen, said: “Plastics are invading the oceans on an unprecedented scale. Like an invasive species, it is wiping out ocean wildlife and taking over its habitat.”
“Humans are to blame for the introduction of this most lethal substance and if we don’t stop its progress, soon the oceans will contain more plastic by sheer weight than all animal life combined.”
“But we can turn the tides, we can stop this invasion. What we have caused, we now have to fix. Stop the production and use of single-use plastics.”
As awareness surrounding these issues grows, more is being done to manage and solve the problems. The UK’s Environment Secretary Michael Gove recently announced intentions to ban plastic straws throughout England. Each straw takes more than 500 years to break down, yet every day, over 500 million straws are used and thrown away.
The ban will see bars, restaurants, and supermarkets across the nation cease distribution and selling of straws. Similarly, Taiwan recently announced plans to eradicate single-use plastics by 2030. The ban will include plastic bags, disposable cutlery, straws, and plastic cups and is intended to “create a better environment for future generations.”
Data from last week suggested that these political efforts are working. The study, which spanned over a 25-year period, discovered there was a 30% drop in plastic bags found on seabeds nearby locations which had implemented plastic bag taxes. The Guardian said this indicates that “behavioural and legislative changes could reduce the problem of marine litter.”
Captain Cornelissen said: “Together we can clean the oceans and together we can make sure that what we take out, stays out.”