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A Plastic Ocean is an award-winning feature-length documentary created by a group of dedicated scientists, film-makers, social entrepreneurs, scholars, environmentalists and journalists. It explores the fragile state of our oceans and uncovers alarming truths about the consequences of our disposable lifestyle.


The film documents the global effects of plastic pollution and highlights workable technologies and innovative solutions that everyone - from governments to individuals - can do to create a healthier ocean.

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The Science behind

We are dedicated to changing the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation through the use of science. Working with community groups, businesses and individuals, we offer professional programs that are scientifically endorsed to inspire people to reduce their plastic-footprint and encourage others to live sustainably without plastic.

A Plastic Ocean: The Science behind the Film presents scientific information and key facts underpinning the production of our film, A Plastic Ocean. The authors of this document served as individual scientists and not as representatives of any organisation, government or industry. Here you can learn more about why the issue of plastic waste is so increasingly critical and pervasive, and equip yourself with the knowledge to inspire others.

The importance of a healthy ocean

The ocean provides a life support system for our civilisation through climate regulation, provision of food and other materials, and cultural, spiritual and recreational services.

Despite this, the services that the oceans provide are under human threat from overexploitation, climate change and pollution. These are impairing the ability of the ocean to provide these services.

The vast quantity of plastic accumulating in our ocean presents a significant emerging global threat to the health of the oceans.

Image by Craig Lovelidge
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Plastic is a resource efficient, low cost, durable and lightweight material with a range of applications that benefit society.  

Plastics may take hundreds if not thousands of years to degrade, allowing them to accumulate in the environment in landfill, on land or in the aquatic environment.

An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastics enters the oceans from land based sources every year and this is expected to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025.  Plastic debris can affect wildlife through physical impacts such as entanglement, ingestion, transportation, and alteration of habitat, as well as potential chemical impacts.  

Plastics can impact humans through chemical exposure and physical interactions, as well as effects on wellbeing and economy.


The plastic pollution problem is a common concern for mankind that requires urgent, global action. Solving it will require international cooperation and the combined actions of the public, industry and policymakers, informed by sound science.

There is no single solution and a strategic mix of approaches specific to a given locality will be required. This will be aided by an understanding of local cultural attitudes and behaviours of consumers.

Improved public awareness through education is critical to engaging people with the problem and empowering them to be part of the solution, as consumers, designers, manufacturers or politicians.

It is generally considered that the greatest impact can be had through preventative strategies to significantly reduce the volume of plastic entering the environment in the first place.

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