Drowning in rubbish

Autor: Sarah Tebbe

Every year more than 10 million tonnes of rubbish end up in the world’s oceans. There are hundreds of thousands of pieces of plastic in every square kilometre of water. It is estimated that around 135,000 marine mammals and one million sea birds die as a result of plastic waste every year.

Plastic waste can even indirectly impact marine life. Decomposition processes often release harmful substances such as Bisphenol A, phthalates or fire retardants, which can accumulate in the food chain and have a lasting effect on genetic material or hormonal balance.

In in our own infographic “Our seas”, we have illustrated the effect rubbish has on the world’s oceans. We explain just how long it takes certain plastic components to decompose, for example. When it comes to reducing plastic waste, even small behavioural changes can make a difference. Discover what these are and more in our in cross-section of the sea below.