Plastics in the sea is a big problem. Over the last 50 years, there has been a huge increase in the production of plastic. In fact, production has increased twenty-fold since 1964 and we need to act now if we are to halt this trend. In fact, by 2050, 1.244 million tonnes of plastic are expected to be produced annually.
Every year, more than 8 million tonnes of plastic are released into the world’s oceans. That’s over 15 tonnes a minute. The lifetime of plastic in nature is up to several hundred years. A plastic bottle, for example, can live 450 years in the marine environment. It will slowly fragment into smaller pieces, eventually ending up as microscopic pieces that never disappear completely. This means that all plastic ever produced still exists in some form.
With the increased focus on plastic in the ocean, a number of brands have introduced products made from plastic waste from the sea. Kevin Murphy is the first beauty brand to introduce packaging made from 100% marine plastic waste. The image below describes the process of using plastic waste from the sea to produce new products.
Plastics in the sea has a major impact on the animals that live in the marine environment. Over 90% of seabirds have pieces of plastic in their stomachs. In addition, one in three species of marine mammals has been found entangled in debris. Sea turtles are vulnerable as they eat jellyfish. They may mistake a plastic bag for a goblin. As a result, over half the world’s sea turtles have eaten plastic.
The solution to the problem is not to be found in the oceans. Ocean cleanups alone cannot solve the problem if we continue to dump plastic into the oceans. In return, you can consider the materials you choose for your packaging. Use as little plastic as possible in your packaging if you want to help make a difference. Also make sure that the materials are as recyclable as possible.
If you are interested in learning more about sustainable packaging, please contact us or visit our sustainable page.