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  • Throughout the world, around one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed every year by plastics, either entangled and strangled or choked and starved.

    baby turtle victim to ocean plastic pollution

Ocean plastic pollution - our ocean’s biggest threat

Plastic pollution - a silent killer 

Throughout our world’s oceans lurks a silent killer. The killer is plastic and it’s on a beach or floating in an ocean near you….

More than 268,940 tonnes of litter is estimated to be floating in the Earth’s oceans – that’s the incredible weight of over 1,300 Blue Whales! 80% of this plastic on our coast and in our waters, is being generated from land. Litter is often lost or blown from inland, comes through stormwater drains or thoughtlessly dropped.

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plastic and animals

Once plastic is in the ocean, marine animals are suffering from either becoming tangled up or eating it leading to suffocation and starvation. Plastic has a long legacy too, breaking down into smaller and smaller unidentifiable pieces and lasting thousands of years.

Already, incredible amounts of easily recyclable plastic bottles are instead washing out of stormwater drains, there is more plastic waste than plankton in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s estimated there will be more plastic than fish in the world by 2050!


Plastic bags and microplastic in particular are mistaken for jellyfish and fish eggs which are not a tasty diet for the animals that eat them. What’s more is what’s in Australian seabirds, with a shocking study revealing 90-100% of Flesh-footed Shearwater chicks on Lord Howe island contain plastic! In 2011, one chick was found to have more than 275 pieces of plastic in its stomach (that’s the equivalent to an average human ingesting 10kg of plastic)!

AMCS is working with a range of organisations to ensure marine litter is addressed, as well as educating the public on the issues and informing them on what they can do to help.

Together, we can turn the tide on plastic pollution – there’s so many small behavioural changes that can make a huge difference for our oceans and the amazing life that calls them home.

Join us in doing something about ocean plastic pollution today:

Take action: What you can do now to help >>

Find out more about microplastics >>

Join us for Plastic Free July >>