Our mission is to change the world’s attitude to plastic in one generation.

Plastic pollution is a global issue that impacts our ocean, our health and our wellbeing. Through education, science and our film, we are working to stem the tide of plastic entering the ocean, before it is too late.

We are helping consumers to become plastic literate, so they can make informed decisions about how and when they accept plastic, and in doing so we are shaping future demand for environmentally sensitive products and solutions.

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
Robert Swan OBE

The Foundation

We use over 300 million tonnes of new plastic every year.  Half of this we use just once and usually for less than 12 minutes.  8 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year.

Over many years, as this plastic waste is carried along by ocean currents, it breaks up into tiny pieces.  So much is getting into our ocean that in some places these plastic particles outnumber plankton by a ratio of 26:1

A large amount of this “thrown away” plastic carries toxic chemicals such as BPA, phthalates, pesticides and PCBs.

Environmental Impact

“There is no away – because plastic is so permanent and so indestructible. When you cast it into the ocean, there is no away”
Sir David Attenborough

Over 600 species of marine life are known to suffer directly from plastic pollution including some on the IUCN red list list such as the Hawaiian monk seal, loggerhead turtle and sooty shearwater. Birds consume plastic, and an increasing number starve when their stomachs are full of plastic waste. Over 90% of seabirds worldwide have plastic pieces in their stomachs.

Human Impact

Once in the ocean, plastic litter affects the safety of sea transport, fisheries, tourism and recreation. When broken down into tiny pieces, plastic attracts toxic chemicals released over decades from industry and agriculture, the concentration of which increases as they move up the food chain.


Exposures to these chemicals have been suggested to contribute to some cancers, and infertility, as well as immune, metabolic, cognitive and behavioural disorders. The entry of plastic pieces into our food chain is of concern to human health.

Recent News

President Obama addresses the Our Ocean Conference

Plastic Oceans at Our Oceans Conference

| Conference, Policy | No Comments

Plastic Oceans Co-Founder and lead on Conservation and Education, Jo Ruxton, is in Washington for the next couple of days for the Our Oceans conference.  The US Secretary of State John…

Dr Sylvia Earle at A Plastic Ocean Screening

A Plastic Ocean Screens at Smithsonian in Washington DC

| Activities, Film News, Film Screenings | No Comments

A Plastic Ocean was screened to an audience of 400 people at the Smithsonian today.  Dr Sylvia Earle introduced the film which was extremely well received.  Gasps from the room…

Jo Ruxton addresses the audience at IUCN

Plastic Oceans event draws biggest crowd at IUCN Congress

| Conference, Policy | No Comments

It was one of the first presentations of the congress and it was amazing.  The IUCN event ‘The Smallest Biggest Plastic Pollution event in the world’ on Friday morning was the…