Ocean plastic pollution – our ocean’s biggest threat · Learn · Australian Marine Conservation Society


Anyone remember Derrin Hinch while hosting his current affairs show saying something to the effect of “we treat this country as though it belongs to someone else” – same can be said of our treatment of the entire planet.

“More than 268,940 tonnes of litter is estimated to be floating in the Earth’s oceans – that’s the incredible weight of over 1,300 Blue Whales! 80% of this plastic on our coast and in our waters, is being generated from land. Litter is often lost or blown from inland, comes through stormwater drains or thoughtlessly dropped.”

“Once plastic is in the ocean, marine animals are suffering from either becoming tangled up or eating it leading to suffocation and starvation. Plastic has a long legacy too, breaking down into smaller and smaller unidentifiable pieces and lasting thousands of years.”

“Plastic bags and microplastic in particular are mistaken for jellyfish and fish eggs which are not a tasty diet for the animals that eat them. What’s more is what’s in Australian seabirds, with a shocking study revealing 90-100% of Flesh-footed Shearwater chicks on Lord Howe island contain plastic! In 2011, one chick was found to have more than 275 pieces of plastic in its stomach (that’s the equivalent to an average human ingesting 10kg of plastic)!”