Marine Litter

Million tonnes of plastic litter polutes the ocean every year

Marine litter has long been a problem and threat to marine life: marine mammals, seabirds and fish die each year from being entangled in or ingesting marine litter.

Avery year 6.4 million tonnes of plastic, with all the toxins they contain, pose a threat to sea life and ecosystems. Plastic is usually made of cellulose, carbon, petroleum, or natural gas. It consists of long chain made up of many repeating molecular units. For the natural environment, plastic is a foreign body and does not biodegrade. Pieces smaller than 5 mm in size are called microplastic. Sources for microplastics in the ocean include cosmetic products, textiles such as fleece jackets, rubbish washed from land and ships that dump their plastic waste in the ocean (even though it is prohibited). The fishing industry accounts for 10% of marine debris. Nets and fishing gear get lost or are thrown away into the ocean. These "ghost nets" continue trapping fish for many decades. Plastic can transport plant and animal species across great distances to other regions. These passengers unsettle the balance of the sensitive ecosystems of their destinations. Plastic can also cover coral, marine sponges and mussel beds, preventing species from populating them and cutting of marine organisms from the exchange of oxygen. Visit WWF for more information to marine litter and follow WWF on Twitter @WWF_media. donates WWF in the fight against plastic waste in the world's oceans.

WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

Bionic Yarn made recycled plastic into durable textiles. The musician Pharrell Williams is turning the tide on ocean pollution. For the third time, the multi-talented musician and entrepreneur has partnered with G-Star Raw, Bionic Yarn and Parley for the Oceans to deliver the "Raw for the Oceans" Fall/Winter 2015 collection that features clothing made from recycled ocean plastic.