The Dangers of Plastic Pollution

Check out NRDC’s two new factsheets on plastic pollution to learn about plastic’s devastating impact on our oceans and what can be done to stop it.  

Ahmed Areef/EyeEm

2020 has been a year of stark realities. Among these stark realities is the recognition that our environment—in fact, the health of the planet we call home—is in danger. This danger is coming from multiple fronts; issues such as climate change, habitat destruction, and biodiversity loss are all driving factors. Yet one such danger that has become increasingly pervasive in our ecosystems can be changed by simple human choice: the choice to reduce plastic pollution. 

Many of us are familiar with what plastic pollution looks like--media is full of images like a plastic straw being pulled from a sea turtle’s nose, a bird found dead with plastic blocking its airway, a beach riddled with plastic bottles. All these images are vivid examples of what plastic can do to our marine environment; however, the devastating impacts of plastic on our oceans are much more widespread and ever-increasing.  

Plastic is found everywhere—including plastic bags drifting almost 7 miles below sea level in the deepest known place in the world’s ocean—and it is hurting our environment in many ways. Plastic production and consumption contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, devalues marine ecosystems, and chokes the wildlife that makes our oceans so diverse. 

The good news is that people across the world are taking action to combat plastic pollution in their own ways, and you can too! Check out our two plastic fact sheets below, educate yourself and your friends, and learn how you can make a difference. 

The Devastating Impact of Plastic Pollution on Our Oceans and on Marine Life

About the Authors

Dillon Hanson-Ahumada

RAY Marine Conservation Diversity Fellow

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