Plastic is permanent, every single piece ever made still exists in one form or another and we produce over 300 million tonnes per year. Half of this we only use once. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, but breaks down and releases toxic chemicals in the process. The effects are two-fold, harming wildlife and habitats in their immediate solid form and then as chemicals, they find their way into water sources and food supplies. These supplies are consumed by wildlife and chemicals are now increasingly found in human bloodstreams. The extent of our contamination has come full circle.
Earlier this year in Italy and the Philippines two whales beached. Different oceans and different continents but still suffering the same effects. It’s now been confirmed that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the worlds largest accumulation zone for plastic in the open ocean is particularly harful to whales. They mistake it for food or accidentally swallow it whilst consuming prey. Observations of the Garbage Patch found that multiple species of whales were sighted in these areas, highlighting the risk these animals face.
The consequences of our plastic addiction are far beyond what we originally expected. It’s obvious that it will take more than a slight change of habit to halt and reverse the damage. We must embrace plastic free solutions whilst also encouraging it. Deposited plastic is now washing up in every corner of the globe, from Cornish beaches, to uninhabited Pacific islands. The Plastic Oceans organisation are striving to change attitudes and behaviours on the use and value of plastic to help discourage even more plastic from reaching our oceans. We can’t just recycle our way out of this.
We’ve collaborated with the artists Jiye Kim and Steph Dutton to create the designs below as a way of raising additional awareness and in support of the plastic crisis. From each sale, 25% of the profits will be donated to Plastic Oceans to support the monumental challenge they have taken on of challenging societies relationship with plastic.