Plastics are very resilient substances that are designed not to break down easily. This has caused a big problem for the environment, as plastic waste has been accumulating on land and in the sea for decades.
It is estimated that more than 150 million tonnes of plastics – are drifting in the world’s oceans and causing the deaths of one million birds and 100,000 sea mammals each year.
Incinerating plastics is highly polluting and currently recycling cannot be done for all plastics. Even those that can be recycled the number of times is limited. Recycling also requires a lot of human effort to make sure it is done properly. We can all help by supporting a circular economy for plastics. We can do this by changing our behaviours when buying, using and disposing of them.
Here’s an introduction to the problem by Sir David Attenborough and Dame Ellen MacArthur: