The fashion industry pushes the idea that more is better — more trends, more products, more shopping; but who benefits from this? Certainly not consumers who feel the pressure to constantly stay on trend, or the environment struggling to keep up with the growing landfills and increased plastic count in our Ocean.
So, how do we break free from this craze? We slow down.
A mindful approach to fashion
What is “slow fashion”?
Slow fashion is a mindful look at clothing from environmental factors to health implications and ethical working conditions for those that make the clothing. It is bringing fashion in harmony with our world.
Five simple ways to transition from fast fashion to a slow fashion wardrobe
1. Check the labels
Opt for natural, plant-based fibers
When selecting new pieces of clothing, look for products made out of fibers such as cotton or linen .
Many times, brands will claim their items are natural, but in fact are mostly synthetic with only a small percentage of natural fibers.
The tag on the inside of the item is the place to go to confirm what the fabric is made of — think of it as the garment’s ingredient label. Choose pieces that are a majority natural — the closer to 100% the better!
In addition to fabric type, look for GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), OEKO–TEX®, and bluesign® certifications to be sure that the all-natural clothing is truly organic and not processed with toxic chemicals and dyes.
How to choose clothing created in ethical working environments:
Beyond fabric composition, there are certifications indicative of a sustainable brand.
Fairtrade certified brands follow criteria that create ethical working environments for farmers and garment workers, support eco-friendly practices and prioritise fair pay.
B Corporations adhere to levels of transparency, ensure ethical employee treatment and charitable giving, and demonstrate positive environmental impacts. Look for these when shopping to support brands that support their workers and the environment.
3. Build a capsule wardrobe
Building a sustainable wardrobe starts with investing in quality pieces for everyday wear based on your style, known as a capsule wardrobe.
Think of the 3–5 items that you wear most often and feel the best in. Then, invest in all-natural items that will complement the staples you already own.
The goal is to have a closet that can be paired countless ways without having to own a lot of clothing.
4. Buy less, wear more
This brings us to the mantra, buy less, wear more. When you need to shop for something new, ask yourself these questions:
Will this pair well with what I already own?
Will I wear this for more than just one occasion?
Sometimes an outfit is specific to an event, such as a party, graduation, or a wedding. But, if more often than not you are making the most of your wardrobe, then you are participating in this more mindful approach to fashion.
Be a proud outfit repeater, Lizzie McGuire!
5. Re-love clothing
When you feel that an item no longer fits in your wardrobe but is still in good shape, donating to a shelter is a great option.
Many brands offer buy-back programs where you can send back your pre-loved item from their brand, and they will recycle it properly for you.
Try thrifting or renting wardrobe items
Thrifting and renting clothing have become popular options, thrifting for its lower cost point and unique finds, and renting for when you need an outfit for a specific occasion.
Do your friends also have clothes they are bored with? Hold a clothes swap where you each bring a few pieces and trade off.
There are endless ways to extend the lifetime of clothing and bring mindfulness into fashion – which all contribute to better caring for our Ocean and planet. Have fun with it!
Lydia Dupree is a degreed biochemist and lifelong devotee of fashion who explores the science behind fashion and seeks innovative clothing and brands to curate a health-conscious wardrobe. Her mission is to raise awareness the implications the fashion industry has on our health and the health of our world and show how to easily implement healthy fashion into our lives.
Our Impact: It’s not just plastic polluting our Ocean
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This is part of our Four Pillars work that highlights the importance of the Ocean, the human-made threats it faces, and the solutions our Ocean provides.
It’s not just plastic polluting our Ocean
With plastic encroaching so many parts of our lives since the 1950’s, it would be hard to find a person today who hasn’t heard of this life-changing material. Despite all its uses, it is undeniable that plastic is choking our Ocean.
But it’s not just plastic.
Marine pollution can be observed in many different forms (see figure below).
From chemical waste to noise, let’s explore the alarming ways in which we pollute the Ocean.
We are drowning in plastic
Plastic is the greatest concern of all the marine litter in the Ocean.
With 80% of plastic originating from land, it is clear that our mismanagement of plastic is threatening marine life. In fact, marine debris from waste streams on land and at sea into the Ocean from rivers are estimated at 1.15–2.41 million metric tons annually.
Plastic also reaches the Ocean as a result of extreme events and natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
One study even states that millions of tons of plastic may reach the Ocean this way, matching the magnitude of plastic from land.
The most common way plastic harms marine life is through entanglement. This is not to mention the repercussions felt through the food chain when species ingest plastics (and microplastics) unknowingly.
From whales, to birds, to turtles, plastic is mistaken for prey and consumed with traumatic consequences like infections and internal injuries.
In the UN report, Second World Ocean Assessment (WOA) 2021, it was stated that scientific and medical understanding of the health threat of plastic pollution was inadequate. But since then, scientists have published studies confirming the presence of plastic in our blood and lungs.
These findings have sparked a greater support for more research into the effects of plastic on human health.
Changes to marine communities are far from being the only effects of pollution.
The nutrients we allow into the Ocean
The increasing amount of nutrients seeping into the Ocean aid the excessive growth of algae.
This is called nutrient pollution. When the nutrients in question are nitrogen and phosphorus (from organic matter), this process is called eutrophication. It results in undesired changes to the health of coastal ecosystems.
Nutrient changes in the Ocean threaten:
– Carbon sequestration which limits climate change, – Fisheries, affecting their mortality, – Abundance of biodiversity, – Production of oxygen, and the – Mitigation of coastal flooding.
The single largest source of nitrogen and phosphorus are synthetic fertilisers.
Other agricultural inputs include animal husbandry and monocultures of legumes. Another source of nitrogen is the combustion of fossil fuels, releasing nitrogen in the form of NOx.
The most prevalent source of nutrient pollution is human sewage.
This is not a surprise considering 80% of municipal wastewater being released into the environment is untreated. Regionally, treated sewage varies from 90% in North America, 66% in Europe, 35% in Asia, and 14% in Latin America and the Caribbean to less than 1% in Africa.
This means that across the Ocean, we see an increase in phytoplankton and a decrease in oxygen levels. This disrupts fish stocks and increases the number of waterborne diseases.
But nutrients are not the only thing to worry about…
Ocean pollution – in different industries:
Industrial pollution can be observed from many sources. They are:
– Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): They are a complex group of substances known for their ability to endure in the environment. At present, we have observed declines in some regions, thanks to regulatory standards set by the Stockholm Convention but POPs are still a global concern.
For example,cetaceans have been detected with PCB (a kind of POP) concentrations which also affects the food chain, increasing the risk of cancer and infertility in humans.
– Metals: Humans are responsible for large influxes of metals being released into the environment.
This includes metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium but also rare earth metals. Metals do not disappear over time and can be trapped in sediments.
It was found that some Artic marine mammals are at high-risk with the concentration of methylmercury in their diet. This poses a risk to the food chain, and subsequently, human health.
– Radioactivity: The discharge of radioactive substances into the Ocean from nuclear power plants continue to decline with the help of improved technologies.
– Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products: This includes all chemicals used for healthcare, cosmetics, and medical purposes. The process to remove these substances from wastewater is not efficient.
As a result, the most frequently detected compounds are antibiotics. There have been some cases like the antibiotic resistant bacteria and soil found in the Artic and Pacific but overall, there is limited data on the true impact of these products in the Ocean.
Globally, there is a decreasing trend in oil spills (over 7 tons), possibly owing to improved surveillance and increased awareness.
Shipping also increases the likelihood of marine litter, with the World Shipping Council estimating that on average, a total of 1382 containers are lost at sea each year.
Sound pollutes the Ocean (and we’re not considerate neighbours).
Human-made noise makes its way into the Ocean via vessels, renewable energy development, sonar, and seismic exploration. Marine traffic also contributes to noise pollution.
Over the past 10 years, there’s been increasing interest in developing guidelines to regulate noise in the Ocean.
We continue to learn and understand the impact of the noise we make on marine animals. Some of the observed examples are as follows:
– Increased stress levels in North Atlantic right whales – Humpback whales: changes in foraging behaviour and vocal calls during breeding season – Fish and coral larvae are less able to select appropriate habitats
Hit the lights: Do you know how light pollution impacts marine life?
This affects the behaviour of many marine mammals. For example, on one Turkish beach, light pollution from a coastal village, paper mill and a tourist resort resulted in less than 40% of logger-head turtle hatchlings being able to reach back to the shore.
They get disoriented and sometimes are at risk of predation.
The most impactful way humans project artificial light is through urbanisation of coastal areas. The light we emit can be seen from space.
In fact, up to three quarters of seafloor close to coastal cities are exposed to artificial light. But other water bodies are not immune. In freshwater ecosystems, melatonin levels which are responsible for sleep or day and night cycles, are affected in freshwater fish.
In the Ocean itself, offshore development is of concern when assessing light pollution. Artificial light at night can penetrate deep into water (over 40m) depending on the clarity of water, with humans having the most impact in the top one metre of water.
What can we do to restore the Ocean?
We need to develop a wide range of solutions to combat the different types of pollution affecting the Ocean.
To tackle plastic pollution, a Global Plastic Treaty is underway to ensure optimal waste management and promote sustainable consumption and production of plastics.
As a society however, it is still in our best interests to reduce our reliance on plastic where possible. We need to dispose plastic in the safest way possible, not allowing it in our waterways.
Nutrient pollution can be curbed with the help of top-down approaches but also public awareness.
As a community, we can take a stronger stance and equip ourselves to monitor water quality, pushing for stronger policies. Those who have lawns and gardens can also minimise their pollutant run-off through many ways.
Moreover, better sewage systems are needed to achieve standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In India, for example, despite efforts to operate better systems, nutrient pollution still persists. Industry stakeholders must develop and promote solutions to address pollutants in the agricultural sector. Innovative solutions are needed to reduce emissions and spills in shipping.
Lastly, there is a need to promote and fund the research required in further understanding all these issues because our Ocean is running out of time, awaiting solutions for the threats we’ve created.
Along the fringes of coastlines, where land and Ocean meet, grow the world’s mighty mangrove trees.
These resilient trees grow along shorelines, with their complex root networks stretching deep into the mud. These coastal ecosystems are found on every continent except Antartica.
Although mangroves may not look like much, they have unique adaptations that allow them to live in saltwater environments and provide crucial habitats for many marine species.
Why are mangrove trees an Ocean solution?
Mangrove ecosystems are a potent, nature-based solution tackling Ocean threats like climate change and loss of biodiversity.
They are the only forests situated at the confluence of land and sea in the world’s subtropics and tropics and are often called “coastal woodlands”, “tidal forests” and “mangrove forests.”
So, what makes mangroves a climate solution?
Here are 5 ways mangroves trees tackle climate change:
Mangroves are carbon sinks
Mangrove trees are highly effective carbon sinks. They sequester (the process of removing carbon from the atmosphere) 3 – 5 times more carbon per hectare than rainforests and they store up to 5 times more carbon per equivalent area.
Carbon stored in mangrove forests is considered blue carbon as it’s stored on the coast.
“The soil of mangrove forests alone can hold more than two years of global emissions – that’s 22 billion tons of carbon,” according to Project Drawdown. This is why they are a huge Climate Action solution!
Mangrove forests are biodiversity hotspots
There are up to 25 more species of fish and other wildlife in mangroves than in areas where they have been cut down.
Mangroves also provide nesting and breeding habitats for fish and shellfish, birds and sea turtles.
How do mangrove trees improve food security?
For people living in coastal regions, healthy mangrove forests provide a healthy ecosystem from which to fish – and healthy farmland from which to grow crops and other produce.
Mangroves are storm protectors
Mangroves act as natural protection for coastal communities as they protect them from increased storm surges, flooding and hurricanes.
Your coastal water quality ensurer
The heavy network of mangrove roots helps filter sediments, heavy metals and other pollutants. This prevents the contamination of waterways and preserves delicate habitats like coral reefs and seagrass beds.
We’re losing mangrove forests at an alarming rate
Mangroves are some of the world’s most valuable coastal ecosystems and yet we’ve lost around 50% of Earth’s mangroves in the past 50 years alone.
If this trajectory continues, we could lose all mangroves within the next 100 years.
By destroying mangrove habitats we not only take away a source of carbon sequestration, we also release all the carbon stored back into the atmosphere.
Take climate action: Plant a mangrove
At Ocean Generation, we recognise the that planting mangrove trees is a simple and effective step to take Ocean action – and it’s accessible to everyone.
Introducing: The Mangrove Mandate
We’re partnering with local experts to restore mangrove forests in Madagascar. Not only does it give you a chance to take Ocean action at the click of a button but it embodies the way we see the Ocean: as part of the solution; not a victim to the world’s problems.
Our charity began as Plastic Oceans UK, where we focused on Ocean plastic pollution. Our award-winning documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’, was named by Sir David Attenborough as “one of the most important films of our time” and ignited mass public awareness about the impact of plastic on our Ocean.
Through various education programmes, we set out to increase Ocean literacy and stop plastic reaching the Ocean within a generation.
Ten years on, it was time for a change. We needed renewed energy to tackle a wider range of very real and immediate human actions threatening the Ocean.
Serendipity came into play when we met the Ocean Generation Foundation team. This relatively new youth collective was breaking stereotypes by using popular culture like gaming, music and fashion to foster an inclusive approach to sustainability.
Together, we embarked on a bold and refreshing chapter; combining disruptive energy with years of experience of storytelling through science and film.
As Plastic Oceans UK became Ocean Generation, we identified a higher vision of the world.
We see a world where the Ocean is freed from human threats within a generation and where young people can be the catalyst for change.
Why we exist
We’re at a stage where there is mass awareness about the problems that engulf the Ocean.
For some of us, Ocean threats are so deeply embedded in the way we all live and work that addressing them can seem overwhelming. And for others, the connection of how the solutions can be relevant to their daily lives cannot be made.
We are changing the narrative around plastic, climate change and other human-made Ocean threats.
We break down the problem. No more fear-mongering, science jargon or big data. No more over-simplifications like Plastic Free or Zero Waste.
We know that plastic has a role to play. But we believe we can shift the perceptions and behaviours that create Ocean threats and enable all of us to live more sustainably.
What we do
Simply put: We translate complex Ocean science into engaging content; use film and popular culture stories to nurture an inclusive approach to sustainability; and run three UNESCO-endorsed youth engagement programmes for 3 – 25-year-olds.
We develop understandable and practical tools and solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems – like climate change and plastic pollution.
Our ‘Ocean Intelligence’ – endorsed by UNESCO – bridges the gap between complex Ocean science and people-led Ocean action by harnessing the power storytelling (backed by science).
We share the stories that to bring a human face to the environmental issues the world is facing.
Our blue planet doesn’t need you to be a perfect environmentalist to make a difference. We need to start where we are; do what we can; take action now.
Ahead of launching our second documentary, we are educating and empowering a generation of Ocean advocates – Wavemakers– to recognise where they can have impact in tackling Ocean threats.
Our global inclusive movement connects people who are using their voices, talents, and skills to develop locally relevant shifts in behaviour that can restore the health of the Ocean and our health too.
Young people are the change engine at the heart of the Ocean Generation movement.
We empower and encourage young people – between the ages of 3 and 25 – to make more conscious, sustainable choices. Their voices are amplified in a refreshing call for change at the heart of everyday decision making.
With collaboration at the core of our ethos, we develop partnerships with people everywhere, to achieve lasting change together.
We exist to restore a sustainable relationship between humanity and the Ocean. As the first generation to deeply understand Ocean issues, we are also the last generation who can stop them.
One Ocean. One Future. We are all the Ocean Generation.
We’ve become dependent on single-use plastic products.
And the reason why isn’t hard to find. Plastic is cheap, convenient and was made to last forever – but as plastic pollution has severe environmental and health consequences for our blue planet.
Understanding key facts about plastic pollution is the first step to rethinking our relationship with it, and ensuring a healthier, more sustainable future all life on Earth.
We’re breaking down 15 facts about plastic pollution – backed by science and our expertise as experts in Ocean health since 2009. Find out how plastic enters the environment, its impact on wildlife, what microplastics are, and how it effects our health below.
15 Plastic pollution facts you need to know:
1. Up to 422 million tonnes of plastic are being produced each year.
The amount of plastic produced every year weighs more than all of humanity (estimated at 316 million tonnes in 2013).
2. Up to 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enter the Ocean every year.
If waste management practices don’t improve, scientists predict this amount could increase tenfold by 2025.
Single-use plastic items are the biggest contributors to marine litter (it is estimated that 1 – 5 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year).
3. Plastics make up to around 75% of marine litter, although this can be up to 100% at some sites.
Plastic in the Ocean breaks up into smaller fragments called microplastics, which have been identified in commercial fish and thus, consumed by humans.
4. Plastic in the Ocean breaks up into smaller fragments called microplastics.
Plastic will never go away. These microplastics have been identified in commercial fish consumed by humans.
What are microplastics?
Microplastics are small plastic pieces measuring less than 5 millimetres.
While some microplastics are intentionally made small (like microbeads in facial scrubs and industrial abrasives used in sandbags), others have been formed by breaking away from larger plastic products.
Due to large amounts of plastic pollution, microplastics can now be found everywhere on Earth – from Mount Everest to the Mariana Trench; the deepest part of our Ocean.
5. Half of all plastics are single-use applications, meaning they’re used just once and disposed of.
We are all guilty of using single-use plastic items. From shampoo bottles to make-up products, plastic forks, and straws – single-use plastic is part of our daily lives.
Small behaviour changes can make a massive impact in reducing the flow of plastic pollution to the Ocean.
The next time you’re at the store, reaching for a single-use plastic item, stop and consider: Is there a more sustainable product I can use? If not, think of ways you can reuse your plastic items instead of discarding of them once you’re done.
6. Plastic was invented 150 years ago.
When we see the stat, ‘Plastic takes 450 years to decompose’ we reply, ‘How is that known?’ Plastic hasn’t been around long enough for us to confirm that.
Instead of breaking down, it’s more accurate to say plasticbreaksup.
Plastic is indestructible; it was designed to defy nature, and designed not to decompose. Plastic just gets smaller, making it harder to remove from the Ocean.
7. Birds are highly susceptible to plastic ingestion.
It is estimated that over 90% of all seabirds have ingested plastic.
8. There is no giant floating island of plastic at the centre of the Pacific or any other parts of the Ocean.
The so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch is invisible from the surface.
Plankton nets, however, reveal the true nature of the plastic problem: An accumulation of microplastics that fill up each net in concentrations that increase towards the Ocean’s centre.
9. Plastic acts as a sink for chemicals in the environment, and transports them.
When plastic is mistakenly consumed by marine life, plastic chemicals are released and stored in the fatty tissue of the animal.
Those chemicals travel up the marine food chain, magnifying in concentration on their way up. Eventually, the plastic in fish reaches and gets consumed by people.
10. Chemicals are added to plastic during its production.
Chemicals are added to plastics to give the products certain properties. Some of the chemicals, known endocrine disruptors, have been linked to critical diseases including birth defects, cancer, autoimmune disease, infertility and cognitive and behavioural disorders.
So, plastic isn’t just polluting our Ocean – it’s polluting our bodies.
11. Crustaceans tested at the deepest point of our Ocean have ingested plastic.
Animals from the deepest places on our blue planet have been found with plastic in their stomachs, confirming fears that man-made fibres have contaminated the most remote places on Earth.
12. People living along rivers and coastlines are the most impacted by plastic pollution.
It’s been reported that China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam are the most impacted by plastic pollution.
13. Low-income communities face more health impacts near plastic production sites.
Communities with low incomes have greater exposure to toxins and plastic waste, and bear the brunt of the impacts of improper plastic disposal and incineration.
14. Annual plastic production has skyrocketed since the early 1950s, reaching 322 million tonnes in 2015.
These numbers do not include synthetic fibres used in clothing, rope and other products which accounted for 61 million tonnes in 2016.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) predicts a 3.5 – 3.8% growth in plastic production per year through 2050. As of 2019, we’re seeing proof of this – with production of single-use plastics increasing despite our growing awareness of their negative impacts.
15. Bioplastics are not not as green as they seem. Approach with caution.
Though companies often market bioplastics under the same umbrella as biodegradable products, they are not necessarily biodegradable.
Most bioplastics require very specific conditions to break down effectively. They also do not solve the litter or throwaway culture problem.
There are many plastic pollution myths out there. We’re here to dispel myths about plastic pollution and provide science-backed facts about plastic pollution.
What equips Ocean Generation to bust plastic misinformation? Science underpins all of our work; we’ve been experts in Ocean health since 2009 and released an award-winning documentary ‘A Plastic Ocean’ in 2016. Learn more about us.
Fact VS Fiction: Here’s what you need to know about plastic.
Myth: ‘There is a huge floating island of plastic out in the Pacific Ocean, 3 times the size of Texas called, ‘The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.’
Simply, there isn’t.
This is a common myth about the Ocean.
There is no giant floating island of plastic at the centre of the Pacific or any other parts of the Ocean.
The so-called ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ is invisible from the surface. Plankton nets reveal the true nature of the problem which is an accumulation of microplastics that fill up each net in concentrations that increase towards the Ocean centre.
Myth: ‘A plastic bottle will take 450 years to break down.’
Plastic taking 450 years to break down is one of the biggest plastic myths.
The truth is: Plastic doesn’t breakdown; it breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces.
This statistic – about plastic breaking down – come from old educational materials released by the American National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The original source adds the caveat that “many scientists believe plastics never entirely go away. These decomposition rates are estimates for the time it takes for these items to become microscopic and no longer be visible.” As well as oversimplifying the risk, this irresponsible statistic about plastic pollution ignores the threat of microplastics.
Plastic is indestructible, it was designed to defy nature, designed not to decompose.
Myth: ‘By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the Ocean.’
This statement first appeared on a report written by Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum (WEF) and has since been used widely by the public and some organisations.
However, there are a few issues with it.
The estimation number of fish (fish stock) in the Ocean is based on a prediction from a 2008 article. The statistic assumes that fish stocks will stay constant until 2050. This is incredibly unlikely due to pressures from overfishing, climate change, and plastic pollution itself. The authors have since predicted higher Ocean biomass than previously thought.
Our concern is that we are destroying the deep Ocean bed before we even begin to know and understand the marine life there as new species are being discovered all the time.
The projection for the amount of plastic in the Ocean by 2050 was drawn from the well-known 2015 study which only quantifies Ocean plastic up to 2025. According to BBC’s investigation, the lead author voiced their lack of confidence.
Due to these uncertainties, it is best not to use this statement to get across the crux of the message, i.e., we cannot allow the current rate of plastic production to continue, and we must sever our reliance on plastic where possible.
Myth: ‘We can recycle our way out of our plastic pollution problems.’
We need to stop thinking that we can recycle our way out of this mess. Recycling is not the answer to the our wide-scale plastic production and consumption behaviours.
The plastic recycling process is now a circular process.
Only 13% of plastic get recycled and only 1% of plastic produced goes through the recycling process twice.
Plastic production must decrease, yet it is currently increasing exponentially and recycling does nothing to abate this. This is because most plastic decreases in quality each time it is recycled, until it loses its value entirely and virgin plastic must be created.
Myth: ‘We should replace tarmac with recycled plastic for our road surfaces.’
This is a measure supported by some of the biggest producers of plastic waste, yet it is rife with risks.
Studies have already revealed that the second biggest input of microfibres into our Ocean are the fibres that come from car tyres.
How might that increase if we start covering our roads with plastic too?
Research is only beginning into the nanoplastics in the air that we breathe. How might vast stretches of plastic-covered roads contribute to these, especially on hot days?
What can I do about plastic pollution?
You’re already taking action to protect our blue planet: You’re getting informed.
Tackling a problem as big as plastic pollution can feel overwhelming – but it doesn’t have to.
Action you can take against plastic pollution right now
We send our a monthly newsletter with practical actions you can take, Ocean positive stories, and understandable environmental science. No fear-mongering. No big data. No expectations that you become a ‘perfect’ environmentalist.
Plastic Rivers Report: What plastic ends up in the Ocean?
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What is the Plastic Rivers Report?
Our Plastic Rivers Report offers practical, evidence-based steps to tackle the plastic pollution crisis.
This report aims to improve our understanding of which plastic pollution items end up in rivers and flow into the Ocean most.
It identifies the 10 most prevalent macroplastic items found in European freshwater environments, key actions you can take to tackle plastic pollution, and how businesses and policy makers can support sustainable choices.