Ocean plastic is a planetary crisis , according to UN Oceans Chief, Lisa Svensson. Each week a new study is released about how plastic has been found in a new species or habitat. Everywhere we look inside animals, at the bottom of the ocean, in our water and in our air we find plastic.
The main problem is that plastics are designed to last. Larger items do disappear over time, but largely because they are broken into smaller and smaller fragments eventually becoming microplastics less than 5mm in size. Since World War II we have produced over 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic, with very little of it recycled and most ending up in landfill or in the environment . Yet its global production continues to rise and by 2050, could be more than three times the levels of today .
Many marine species can become entangled in plastic debris or mistake it for food. Plastics also attract toxins and bind to other pollutants in the water, which can accumulate in increasing concentrations higher up the food chain.
We want to see more ocean and less plastic, so A Rocha is:
* Developing a global citizen science project focused on nurdles small plastic pellets used for industrial plastic production often found washed up on beaches;
* Publishing articles and making presentations that explore the theological implications of marine plastics;
* Improving and updating our Microplastics Toolbox, including science, education, lifestyle and theological resources to start your own plastic project; and
* Working with A Rocha organizations around the world to develop clean-up projects in key habitats such as beaches, mangroves, rivers and lakes.
Your donation will help spread the message about the problem of marine plastics, provide resources to get involved and reduce its presence in the ocean.
(Photo courtesy of Ben Porter, benporterwildlife.co.uk)