Plastics in our environment are harming wildlife on land, in our rivers, and at sea
Plastics are incredibly useful in many aspects of society, but once they enter our ecosystems they can have a devastating effect on wildlife all over the world.
It can take hundreds of years to decay, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. Larger plastics can entangle and ensnare seabirds, marine mammals and reptiles, and often mistaken for food. Once in the food chain, its consumed by predators and can even return to us in the seafood we eat ourselves.
Tackling our plastic addiction; what you can do
The Wildlife Trusts campaigned for the government to introduce a ban on microbeads in toiletries and household products, which wash into our rivers and seas. We were also pleased to see the government introduce a 5p carrier bag levy, which has reduced our usage of bags by 85%, while also raising money for community projects.
However, we can all still do a lot to fight the plastic tide.
Do a beach clean
Join a local beach clean event, organise one yourself, or even do a two minute clean while out for a walk - you'll be amazed at what you'll find. Find out more about how beach cleans help.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Try and reduce the amount of plastic you use by swapping to reusable coffee cups, water bottles and bags. Make sure that used plastics are recycled wherever possible.
Talk to your local businesses and the companies you buy from about your concerns about plastic, and tell your MP you want action.
Read more about our work to
Microplastics affecting our nature reserves
Our volunteers work hard to help clean up our nature reserves like here at Farlington Marshes nature reserve, but the sheer amount of small plastic pieces beads amongst the debris on the shoreline make it a near impossible job. More needs to be done to prevent plastic entering our ecosystems in the first place.
More on our work on marine issues
My Wild Life: Erica Williams
Erica, one of our Marine Champions, shares how she brought her passion for nature and volunteering into her work life.
Grand Designs: The Reef Builders of our Seas
For most of us, an architectural achievement means assembling a bookcase from IKEA. But some marine species build structures that…
Grub's Up: Marine Life with Tasty Names
Feeling hungry? These marine species may sound delicious, but trust us when we say you wouldn't want them on your plate!