Issues & Concerns
Learn about the impact single-use plastic is having on us and our planet
P lastic was invented less than a hundred years ago, yet in this short amount of time, single-use plastic in particular has become one of the biggest made-made threats to our planet today.
From the amount of oil used its manufacture, the toxic leachate produced when plastic is buried, to the millions of tonnes of plastic entering our oceans per year – single-use plastic is misused and abused with severe consequences.
Some quick facts about single-use plastic
- Over the last 10 years humans have produced more plastic than during the last century.
- For every single-use plastic bottle of water, the equivalent of around 1/5th of its capacity of oil – a finite resource – is used.
Did you know? The UK alone uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups per year!
In numbers, that’s: 2.5,000,000,000,000
- It is likely that the seafood we eat contains microplastic in its gut or nano plastics in the meat tissue
- Microplastics in the ocean attract toxins from the water around it.
- Toxins in sealife are persistent, and biomagnify up the food chain we are the top of.
- Toxins and chemicals from plastics are thought to cause cancer and disrupt hormones.
- Around 60% of the plastic we use is single-use – used once and then thrown away, and about a truck’s worth of plastic enters the world’s oceans every single minute.
- By 2050 scientists believe there will be more plastic in the sea than fish (in weight terms)
- It is estimated that 100,000 sea mammals die from entanglement and suffocation caused by plastic marine debris.
- Around 1 million sea birds die a year from ingesting pieces of plastic found on land or floating in the sea.
- Approximately one in four fish caught for human consumption has pieces of plastic in its gut.
We’ve compiled some resources to promote discussion and raise awareness of just what the issues and concerns regarding plastic are.
Packs of resources to help save you time.
This resource introduces students to the sea turtles of Costa Rica and the importance of their habitat, assesses the dangers that they face and encourages students to consider how they…DOWNLOAD
The UK Plastics Pact are tackling the issue of problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic, changing how we make, use, reuse and recycle these items. 2020 is fast approaching… just over…Read More
Big corporations that use billions of tonnes of single-use plastic a year globally are a BIG part of the single-use plastic disaster, but as this video shows, when shareholders demand…Read More
When ATAG (Air Transport Action Group) invited Amy and Ella to speak about single-use plastics at the Global Aviation Sustainability Summit in Geneva in October 2018, the Kids Against Plastic…Read More
Amy and Ella recorded this video a couple of years ago when they were invited to speak in schools around the UK but couldn’t make it. The girls might look…Read More
A thought-provoking photograph showing a bulldozer working on a landfill site.Read More
When Amy and Ella grilled Iceland supermarket boss about its use of plastic packaging.Read More
Plastic by numbers (facts and figures) by Will McCallum, head of Greenpeace UK Oceans.DOWNLOAD
Concerns about plastic pollution and specifically how it is affecting the health of Albatrosses. A short film made by Blue Planet II.Read More
An excellent video by Algalita a non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of the marine environment. The video covers plastic (as a material) the issues associated with plastic pollution, and some…Read More
A funny audiobook, written by Georgina Stevens, narrated by Jeremy Irons, about a Tiger Shark named Finn, who gets into a spot of bother. Also featuring a brand new, beautiful…Read More
New Research by the University of Hull and the British Antarctic Survey has highlighted the emerging problem of plastic pollution in the AntarcticRead More
Plastic pollution pictured along the coast of Wadi El Gamal national park, Marsa Alam, Egypt. Credit: Cherie BridgesRead More
A mother pilot whale grieves over its dead calf. A short film from Blue Planet II.Read More
Kids Against Plastic share exclusive interview footage with Steve Backshall, Simon Reeve, Sylvia Earle and more, shot at the brilliantly inspirational Steppes Beyond Festival 2017 at the Royal Geographical Society –…Read More
There is so much plastic in our oceans, that you could be eating 11,000 microparticles of plastic per year.Read More
This is the third of three videos about the life of plastic bottles, covering how we can combat plastic pollution, and also the non-plastic alternatives that are out there.Read More
The first of three videos about plastic bottles and their negative impact on the environment throughout their lives. This video covers the manufacture and transportation of a plastic bottle.Read More
A news bulletin about a whale that starved to death after consuming plastic, some of it from the UK.Read More
A short film made by Kids Against Plastic explain some of the issues with single-use plastic and why we all need to do something about it. Please note: the website…Read More
A short film made by Kids Against Plastic highlighting the amount of plastic pollution in our local river, the River Trent in Nottingham.Read More
How many throw-away coffee cups does the UK use a year?… a day?… a second? And what happens to them? Find out here? Credit: Phoxwater.comRead More
Sky Ocean Rescue is partnering with National Geographic to give 3 scholars the opportunity to drive research that will raise awareness of the issues surrounding ocean health and advance our…Read More
An brightly illustrated information sheet full of stats and facts. Credit: The Deep, Hull.Read More
A thought-provoking resource that helps children understand how our actions on land impact on the sea. Created by The Marine Conservation Society.DOWNLOAD
An informative text highlighting the growth of beach litter on UK beaches.. Created by The Marine Conservation Society.DOWNLOAD
Bottled water – a fresh-tasting, pure drink that is supposedly bottled from pristine mountain rivers. A beverage that nations spend billions of pounds on every year. And, in reality, a substance that is often misrepresented by the label on the bottle. Here are 6 reasons, though, why the bottled drink is no better than tap water.Read More
On a remote island in the Tasman Sea Liz Bonnin meets the scientists battling to save Flesh-footed Shearwater chicks from the devastating effects of plastic pollution. NB contains disturbing scenes…Read More
A two-page PDF that explores some of the issues with plastic pollution and the materials the litter is made from. Created by The Marine Conservation Society.DOWNLOAD
An animation of the story of how (and how much of) our rubbish makes it into the oceans. Created by Project Aware.Read More