Plastic pollution in the oceans


Our throw away society is polluting large areas of the world's oceans with plastics, threatening marine life and food chains. How did it get there? What are the practical solutions? Is it time to re-evaluate waste as a resource?

DAVID DE ROTHSCHILD Founder of Adventure Ecology and Plastiki Expedition

DR SIMON BOXHALL Oceanographer, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

PETER DAVIS Director General, British Plastic Federation 

DAVID SHUKMAN BBC Science and Environment Correspondent

  • TALKS
  • FOCUSFact card - Plastic pollution
  • 60 SECONDSWhat is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
  • INTERVIEWS
  • NEWSPlastic Oceans

Audience Q&A Part 1

Part 1 of questions to the panel from our audience, lead by David Shukman

watch video »

Peter Davis

Peter Davis, Director-General of the British Plastics Federation, talks about the importance role plastic products have in modern life and the ways industry can help to reduce plastic waste. 

watch video »

David de Rothschild

David de Rothschild, Leader of The Plastiki, talks about the importance of understanding the value of waste plastic as a resource.

watch video »

Dr Simon Boxall

Dr Simon Boxall, oceanographer, discusses the importance of the world's oceans and the issue of plastic pollution.

watch video »
Fact card - Plastic pollution

Fact card - Plastic pollution

Fact card on plastic pollution in the oceans

more »
Give Me Tap - Making our world a fountain

Give Me Tap - Making our world a fountain

Funding water aid in Africa through reusable water bottles in UK.

more »
Professor Richard Thompson

Professor Richard Thompson

We talk to an expert who is researching what happens when plastic breaks…

more »
David de Rothschild - our biggest challenge

David de Rothschild - our biggest challenge

David de Rothschild explains what he sees as the biggest challenge facing society…

more »
Meet our panel

Meet our panel

Read about our panel for this event, David de Rothschild, Dr Simon Boxall,…

more »
The Plastiki Expedition

The Plastiki Expedition

Made with over 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, The Plastiki has just across the…

more »
Interview with Sylvia Earle

Interview with Sylvia Earle

Celebrated oceanographer and ambassador for the world's oceans. Dr Sylvia Earle, 'explorer in…

more »
What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

Find out how plastic is leading to the pollution of…

more »

Give Me Tap - Making our world a fountain

Funding water aid in Africa through reusable water bottles in…

watch video »

Professor Richard Thompson

We talk to an expert who is researching what happens…

watch video »

David de Rothschild - our biggest challenge

David de Rothschild explains what he sees as the biggest…

watch video »

Interview with Sylvia Earle

Celebrated oceanographer and ambassador for the world's oceans. Dr Sylvia…

watch video »

Plane Search Shows World’s Oceans Are Full of Trash

  • Source: National Geographic
  • Icon: Script 4th April 2014

Search for missing Malaysian plane shines spotlight on giant ocean garbage patches.

full article »

Plastic waste threatens lakes as well as oceans

  • Source: BBC News
  • Icon: Script 7th October 2013

Pollution with plastic waste is not confined to the oceans but poses a growing threat to lakes as well.

full article »

Marine ecology: Welcome to the plastisphere

  • Source: The Economist
  • Icon: Script 20th July 2013

The malign effect of floating plastic debris on seabirds, turtles and other sea creatures is well known. But, as Dr Mincer and Dr Amaral-Zettler have discovered, plastic debris also provides a new habitat for organisms small enough to take advantage of it.

full article »

Rangers and scientists gather to explore ways of curbing threats that led to soaring number of strandings in recent years.

full article »

What are long term threats of plastic in our seas?

  • Source: BBC News
  • Icon: Script 29th January 2013

Last summer, when filming for a series to be broadcast next year, a team from the BBC's Natural History Unit saw first-hand how discarded plastic can end up thousands of miles away from where people live when they visited French Frigate Shoals, an island north west of Hawaii.

full article »

Big rise in North Pacific plastic waste

  • Source: BBC News
  • Icon: Script 2nd May 2012

The quantity of small plastic fragments floating in the north-east Pacific Ocean has increased a hundred fold over the past 40 years.

full article »

Congo bans plastic bags to fight pollution

  • Source: Reuters
  • Icon: Script 2nd June 2011

The Republic of Congo has banned the production, import, sale and use of plastic bags in a move to fight environmental pollution in the Central African nation, government spokesman Bienvenu Okiemy said on Thursday.

full article »

Plastic Oceans

  • Source: Plastic Oceans
full article »