The plastic problem

The problem with plastic is that most of it isn’t biodegradable. It doesn’t rot away, like paper or food waste, it hangs around in the environment for hundreds of years

Each year, 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced

40% of that is singleuse – plastic we’ll only use once before it’s thrown into the bin and ends up in our landfills. Once plastic begins to break down, it breaks down into smaller pieces called micro plastics. These micro plastics are all over our planet and are easily ingested by wildlife.
  • 100,000+ marine mammals and sea turtles die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it.
  • 1 million seabirds are killed by eating or getting trapped in plastic each year.
  • Research has shown plastic found in the stomach of sea creatures from the deepest trenches in the oceans.
  • Recent research found plastic in the stomachs of every seal, dolphin & whale sampled among those that were washed up on UK shores.
  • Plastic has been found to be entering our own food chain.

How does plastic enter our seas?

Plastic can be blown into the sea from littering, waste from bins near the water, from the beaches or blown off ships. It can also get flushed down the toilet.

Where does this plastic go?

Plastic gets taken by the wind driven currents in the ocean and can end up in one of the 5 subtropical gyres, if it doesn’t end up back on one of our beautiful beaches.
If plastic makes it to one of these gyres by getting trapped in these currents, it can take up to 10 years to cycle back out. That is if it doesn’t get eaten by marine life, used as their home or sink to the bottom of the ocean.

The ocean is home to 5 gyres. These gyres are enormous circular current systems.

This research was followed up on in 2017 by United Nations Clean Seas Campaign where they estimated that there are 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean today, 500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy. 
In 2012, 5 Gyres, a leader in the global movement in plastic pollution, brought together a group of scientists to establish the world’s first Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution.
From this research published in 2014, it was determined that there were 269,000 metric tons and 5.25 trillion particles on the ocean’s surface.
Plastics of all types pollute our oceans and inland waterways and as marine businesses, sailors, sailing clubs, centres and just ocean lovers, we need to act now to protect the seas we love to work and play on. This is where we all come in. 
We can’t wait for you to join us on our mission to clean seas and inland waters. Our hopes are to have as many boating clubs, centers and businesses as SUP free as possible and reducing their waste and environmental impact.