The world’s oceans are under unprecedented threat from a deadly predator. Strong and indestructible, with the ability to harm anything in its path, this beast has become one of the greatest risks to our oceans today. The culprit? Plastic.
Eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into oceans around the world every year, impacting not only marine life and its delicate ecosystems, but having wider implications on our health and economies, globally.
The attributes that have made plastic so ubiquitous in society — its strength and durability — are the very reasons it has become a major environmental issue, a seemingly unstoppable problem that’s showing no signs of slowing down - a plastic bottle can take 70-450 years to break down and a plastic bag will be around for 500-1000 years after it is thrown away.
Nearly half of all plastic ever manufactured has been made since 2000 to meet demand for the world’s ever-growing consumerist tendencies. At current rates, it’s predicted that there will be ten times more plastic in our oceans by 2020, and more plastic than fish by 2050.
AWdF are trying to prevent these harmful effects on the environment with our SEA:SENSE Campaign.
This year round campaign will stretch across the Atlantic Ocean, initially starting in the Canary Islands - where plastic pollution is increasingly more out of control. Our initial programme will involve carrying out beach cleans on the often forgotten and more polluted smaller beaches around the Canary Islands, with the hope that this project will be picked up by other organisations locally.
In the first three months we are aiming to collect the same weight of plastic and other pollution as the weight of a female orca - around 3 tonnes. This is also the same amount of plastic as enters the ocean every 6 seconds. We will use this initial project as a blueprint that can then be used throughout the Atlantic.
As part of this campaign, we will be collecting data on the companies whose plastics are most abundant in our clean ups, so we can then furnish them with this information to them to try and orchestrate change to their company recycling policies, encouraging long lasting change and sustainability. Currently, 14% of global pollution is found to be from 3 major companies - Coca Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé, despite their seemingly strong sustainability agendas.
If you would like to get involved in this project either with us in the Canary Islands or in your home country, please email the team and let us know how you plan on taking part. We will then ask you to keep us updated of the weight of pollution you have collected as well as the brands of the pollution collected so that we can add your data to our totals and make a significant impact globally. If you collect 1 bottle or 1000, you are making a difference, and we applaud you.
Other things you can do to to reduce your impact on the environment and ecosystems in you daily life: