The environmental organization Plastic Oceans has released a Christmas video highlighting the impact of plastic waste at sea and urging people to recycle packaging.
We are changing our environment as we subject our planet to a tidal wave of plastic waste, says the organization. Almost half of the plastic we use is used just once and is then thrown away.
Plastic pollution is having a significant environmental impact particularly on marine life and coastlines. According to the organization, there are three major impacts on marine ecosystems:
• Over 250 species have been known to have ingested or become entangled in plastic;
• Entanglement rates of up to 7.9 percent have been discovered in some species of seals and sea lions;
• A UNEP report estimates that around 130,000 cetaceans are caught in nets each year;
• Over 100 species of sea birds are known to ingest plastic artefacts;
• According to Dr Jan Andries van Franeker, around 95 percent of Fulmers have plastic in their stomachs that affect them in chemical and mechanical ways;
• 31 species of marine mammals are known to have ingested marine plastic;
Transport of Invasive Species
• The increase in marine litter, in particular plastics has resulted in a corresponding increase in species invasion;
• Man-made litter has resulted in a significant increase in the opportunities for the transportation of alien species;