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Plastic pollution in our oceans poses a real threat to whales and dolphins. 56% of all whale and dolphin species, from small fish-eating dolphins to the largest filter feeding whales, have been recorded eating marine plastics they've mistaken for food. Plastic is #NotWhaleFood. Each and every one of us can help to keep the oceans plastic-free and secure a safe future for these amazing creatures.
Between 5 million and 13 million tonnes of plastic leak into the world’s oceans every year. That’s more than the combined weight of every single blue whale on Earth.
A single 1L bottle could break down into enough small fragments to put one on every mile of beach in the entire world.
A single use plastic bottle that makes its way into the ocean can take 450 years to break down, meaning it lives twice as long as a Bowhead Whale – one of the longest living creatures on the planet.
More than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold in 2016 across the world.
Up to 80% of litter that makes its way into the oceans comes from our towns and cities.
Last night, BBC series Blue Planet II highlighted the scale of plastic debris in the oceans, showing albatrosses trying to feed plastic to their young, and a pilot whale carrying her dead calf with her for days in mourning, with scientists believing that the mother’s milk had made poisonous by pollution. In next week’s budget, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, will announce a “call for evidence” on how taxes or other charges on single-use plastics such as takeaway cartons and packaging could reduce the impact of discarded waste on marine and bird life. The environment department is also seeking evidence on how to reduce…
Animals from the deepest places on Earth have been found with plastic in their stomachs, according to a new study led by academics at Newcastle University. Animals from deep trenches across the Pacific Ocean, some of the most remote places on the planet, have been found to be contaminated with fibres that probably originated from plastic bottles, packaging and synthetic clothes. “There is now no doubt that plastics pollution is so pervasive that nowhere – no matter how remote – is immune,” said Dr Alan Jamieson, who led the study. Read the full story on The Guardian
According to new government data, there has been a dramatic rise in the amount of litter found on the seabeds around Britain. An average of 358 litter items were found per square kilometre of seabed in 2016, a 158% rise on the previous year, and 222% higher than the average for 1992-94. Almost 78% of the litter is plastic, 6.3% rubber and 2.7% metal, according to the data published by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Natalie Fee, the founder of the City to Sea campaign group, said: “This is sadly yet more evidence that the tide has yet to turn against plastic…
A new study published in the academic journal, Environmental Pollution has revealed the shocking reality of plastic debris polluting the ocean. According to data compiled off the coast of Ireland by researchers at Galway-Mayo IT and University College Cork (in collaboration with IWDG), almost ten per cent of whales, dolphins, and porpoises examined were found to have plastics in their digestive tracts. Furthermore, the study found that 8.5 per cent (45 individuals) of those tested had marine debris in their stomachs and intestines, and that deep-diving species (like Cuvier’s beaked whales), ingested more plastics than those individuals that roam the seas closer…
According to senior Labour MP Mary Creagh, during a meeting at the House of Commons, top scientists have recently found indications of the disruption of hormones in polar bears, causing them to develop two sets of testicles. You can read the rest of this story on Sky News
A photographer has captured the damage being done to the planet's oceans with a shocking “sea of plastic and styrofoam” image taken near a tranquil Caribbean island. Caroline Power, who specialises in underwater photography, has dedicated her career to highlighting the damage plastic waste is doing to our oceans. She said witnessing the plastic blanket of forks, bottles and rubbish between the islands Roatan and Cayos Cochinos, off the coast of Honduras, was “devastating”. “To see something that I care so deeply for being killed, slowly choked to death by human waste was devastating,” she told The Telegraph. “Once the trash is…
The colossal amount of plastic waste from single-use water bottles and other sources equates to more than the combined weight of every single living blue whale (the largest creature ever to have lived on earth) and equal to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every single foot of the world’s coastline. This number is set to double to 10 bags full by 2025. #NotWhaleFood is supported by BRITA and is being backed by Julia Bradbury and Michaela Strachan and kicked off with an urban beach clean with WDC staff and volunteers outside the Houses of Parliament to highlight that up…
Cosmetics giants are trying to persuade the European Union to limit a British ban on plastic poison microbeads. The Government announced plans for a ban on the use of microplastics in all rinse-off cosmetic products earlier this year following the Daily Mail’s Ban The Beads campaign. The proposed ban would cover make-up and mascara which contain tiny pieces of plastic, as well as body and face scrubs. However, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has lodged a formal objection with the European Commission. The industry body says that any ban should be limited to exfoliating scrubs and claims the proposal…
Soft drinks company accused of 'refusing to take responsibility for its role in the plastic pollution crisis' Coca-Cola produced a billion more plastic bottles last year compared to the previous 12 months, according to new analysis. The company does not publish data on the production of its bottles, but a study by Greenpeace found the amount of plastic being used by the soft drinks company has increased. The environmental campaign group said Coca-Cola is now producing more than 110 billion plastic bottles each year. Coca-Cola confirmed there has been an increase in the proportion of its packaging that is plastic bottles. The company says all…
Huge volumes of plastic waste were found during a single-day clean-up in the Russian Arctic. A large plastic pollution clean-up has seen 15 tonnes of plastic waste collected off the coast of the Russian Arctic Ocean in a single day. The shocking discovery was made along the coast of Murmansk in northeast Russia, which was previously considered one of the planet’s most pristine stretches of water. A new organization, The Slava Foundation, has been created to lead a new international effort to raise awareness of the impact of manmade pollution in the Russian Arctic. The clean-up, which was carried out by…
Tiny plastic particles released by synthetic fabrics can cause harm to marine life when they enter rivers and oceans Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment, according to a study. A team at Plymouth University in the UK spent 12 months analysing what happened when a number of synthetic materials were washed at different temperatures in domestic washing machines, using different combinations of detergents, to quantify the microfibres shed. They found that acrylic was the worst offender, releasing nearly 730,000 tiny synthetic particles per wash, five times more than polyester-cotton blend…
The pub chain’s decision to do away with straws is expected to stop 70m of them ending up in landfill or the sea every year. Here are some other plastics we perhaps could do without. Drinkers heading to Wetherspoon’s for a tipple will have to do without plastic straws from the end of this year as the cheap (and occasionally cheerful) high-street pub chain does its bit to tackle the problem of global plastic pollution. Following on the heels of companies such as Tesco, which last month announced it would stop selling its 5p single-use plastic bags, Wetherspoon’s senses the tide…
Sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets. Following this week’s revelations in the Guardian about levels of plastic contamination in tap water, new studies have shown that tiny particles have been found in sea salt in the UK, France and Spain, as well as China and now the US. Researchers believe the majority of the contamination comes from microfibres and single-use plastics such as water bottles, items that comprise the majority of…
Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health. Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres. The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India…
An FAO study finds that more than 100 commercial seafood species ingest microplastic, which can be contaminated with toxins. More worrying are the unknown health effects of even smaller nanoplastics. There’s an estimated 51 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean, most of it broken up into bits smaller than the nail on your pinkie finger. Marine animals eat this plastic when they mistake it for fish eggs, plankton and algae. And so do people when they slurp down oysters, consume crab or eat other types of fish and shellfish, according to the latest research on the presence of plastic in fisheries and aquaculture issued by…
Seafood eaters ingest up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year with dozens of particles becoming embedded in tissues, scientists have warned, in findings described as 'sobering' by the Prince of Wales. Researchers from the University of Ghent in Belgium believe that microplastics accumulate in the body over time and could be a long term health risk. And they say the amount of plastic absorbed will only get worse as pollution in the oceans increases, a finding described by the Prince of Wales as ‘sobering.’ The Prince has previously described micro-particles as 'grey goo.' Dr Colin Janssen, who led the…
Essentials for today's training with @CornishPirates1. @samurai_sports kit, @adidas boots and BRITA #fill&go. #NotWhaleFood Read More
Nominated by a WDC supporter called Helen - WDC's Scottish Dolphin Centre volunteers are "inspirational to the youngsters who visit & really try… Read More
#singleuseplastic accessories making banana & blueberry smoothie taste even better! Positive choices every day! #NotWhaleFood #swapforgood Read More
Putting #singleuseplastic to good use! Our WDC #NetPositive Cycling Jersey is made in the UK from recycled plastic bottles #swapforgood #NotWhaleFood Read More
Carrying out research to help @whales_org tackle #plasticpollution and ensure a safe, plastic-free future #NotWhaleFood! Read More
#Inspiring! Nicola and Richard run the #zerowaste shop in Totnes, Devon. No #singleuseplastic in sight! #swapforgood Read More
Coming together to keep beautiful spots in #Cornwall free from #marinelitter. We love our coasts and the wildlife we share it with #NotWhaleFood Read More
12 SUP marathons completed on a board made from single use plastic bottles #oceanplastics. Congrats to @whalecompany's Carolyn & Carlos! Read More
Get In Touch
To nominate a #PlasticsHero or share your own stories and tips tag us on social media using #NotWhaleFood or get in touch
WDC are delighted to be working with BRITA on #NotWhaleFood to help raise awareness of the positive steps we can all take to help tackle the problem of single use plastic – which poses a real danger to whales and dolphins. BRITA has a strong commitment to sustainable business, with more than 50 years’ experience of providing a convenient and environmentally sustainable source of filtered water to customers at home and on the go. BRITA’s Fill&Go water bottles are designed with reducing the use of disposable products like single-use plastic bottles in mind. WDC are proud to work with a brand that…Read More
Finally, a plastic free supermarket in London. Ingrid Caldironi has taken the issue of plastic pollution into her own hands by opening London's very first plastic free shop. Bulk Market stocks more than 300 items, and it’s not just food. Alongside dried goods there are bamboo toothbrushes, paper-wrapped toilet roll and even dog food! You just need to take along your empty containers, and fill them up! Read more about Bulk Market hereRead More
Everything you need to know about the ocean plastic problem in 3 minutes Since launching #NotWhaleFood we've been amazed at the response we've received from people wanting to find out more about the problem and ways in which they can make a positive impact both through their everyday choices, and volunteering. Ocean plastic pollution is huge (and sometimes complicated) issue, with new facts and figures being published regularly about the scale of the problem and the impact on both marine wildlife and humans. We are also learning more every day about the ways that plastic is finding its way into the…Read More
Renowned wildlife photographer Justin Hofman captured this amazing image highlighting the growing problem of marine litter last year whilst snorkelling. The photo is now a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition from the Natural History Museum in London. Justin said: It’s a photo that I wish didn’t exist but now that it does I want everyone to see it. What started as an opportunity to photograph a cute little sea horse turned into one of frustration and sadness as the incoming tide brought with it countless pieces of trash and sewage. This sea horse drifts long with the trash day in and…Read More
You’ve taken the pledge to cut down on single use plastic and now have a shiny new refillable water bottle – hooray! Now you need the Refill app! Refill is a national, practical tap water campaign that aims to make refilling your bottle as easy, convenient and cheap as possible by introducing Refill points on every street in the UK. With over 1,000 friendly cafes, shops, hotels and businesses all over the country are welcoming you in to refill your water bottle – for free! Refill schemes are currently running in Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, Devon, Bath and Bradford-on-Avon, Brighton and Hunstanton with…Read More