Marine plastics pose a serious problem for both marine ecosystems and human health. In fact, with between 4.8 million and 12.7 million tons of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans every year, it could be considered one of the most dangerous environmental catastrophes the world currently faces.
Broadcasting company Sky is mobilizing its resources to increase awareness of the issue with a new Ocean Rescue digital campaign, using behavior change tips and celebrities, including Sir Richard Branson, Prince Charles and astronaut Tom Peake, to inspire and educate consumers. The campaign launched last week alongside a 45-minute documentary, which aired across the company’s TV channels.
The company used its Sky News outlet to place a particular focus on important ocean plastic waste reports published by the likes of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and has been offering tips and advice for consumers to take action — such as switching to reusable bags from single-use plastic options — through dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts. The company is also cracking down on its own usage of plastic bags and bottles.
“It will be a major challenge to put the legacy of pollution we are passing on into reverse, but we owe it to our children and future generations to acknowledge the problem and change our behavior,” said John Ryley, Sky News head.
‘A Plastic Tide,’ the company’s documentary also shined light on new data gathered by environmental charities Thames21 and Tideway, which stated that 75 percent of the plastic waste found on the River Thames foreshore was packaging rather than actual products. Under the Thames River Watch project, the two organizations conducted 56 detailed litter survey across different areas of the river.
Sky made similar efforts back in 2009, when it launched its successful Rainforest Rescue project, which involved a number of zero-deforestation initiatives and themed television programming. The campaign raised £9 million to prevent the destruction of a billion trees in the Amazon rainforest.
Sky isn’t the only one making strides to reduce plastic pollution. The Proctor & Gamble Company (P&G) announced earlier this month that it will be mass-producing the world’s first recyclable shampoo bottle made from 25 percent post-consumer recycled beach plastic, and Adidas has set its sights on delivering 7,000 pairs of trainers made from 95 percent ocean plastic to the market.