The oceans are our planet’s lifeblood and every day they are under attack from both natural and manmade pollution. There are many factors which make up manmade pollution, one of the largest being plastic waste. Every year over 8 million tons of plastic is being deliberately dumped into the ocean. Plastic is one of the biggest killers of marine life and reeks havoc on their habitat. Did you know that there is roughly 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of ocean? They can be both microscopic and large pieces and can be mistaken for food by marine life.

Making its way up the food chain reaching your plate, the contamination can cause health issues ranging from hormonal and reproductive problems to mercury exposure related heart disease.

So what can we do to help?

Watching the amount of plastic that we buy is a good start. Nearly everything we use in our daily lives is either wrapped, made of or has components that are plastic. Buy reusable bags, don’t always opt for the easy plastic bag option as it usually ends up in the ocean, even if it has been recycled. Did you know that annually, approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide with more than 1 million plastic bags are being used every minute?

If you would like to learn more about ocean pollution and how it affects marine life as well as life on land, then take a look at the fascinating infographic below, created by the team at

To learn more about how you can help, read our Guide to Protecting the Ocean.


How ocean pollution affects humans