From a dead whale found with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach to small shrimp-like arthropods eating microplastics deep in the Mariana Trench, we have a serious marine plastic pollution problem.
An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. Marine plastic pollution is comprised of single-use items like soda bottles, bottle caps, straws, plastic bags, and commercial fishing nets and lines. The problem with this is that these plastics do not naturally break down. Instead, these plastics end up breaking into smaller microplastics which are more easily consumed by marine life and other animals — which, in turn, could end up being eaten by humans.
In this episode of One Small Step, follow Lucy as she learns more about plastic pollution by joining in on a beach cleanup organized by Mike Castellano of the Surfrider Foundation. Lucy also speaks with Cyrill Gutsch, the founder of Parley for the Oceans, about how industry is rethinking plastic and plastic recycling and repurposing.