Changing Planet

Funny Video Takes on Plastic Pollution

As scientists debate how the world’s ocean might be picked free of plastic trash (hint: no one knows), a European nonprofit is taking on the problem with humor. The group Seas at Risk has just released the video above to remind people that what we do on land can have an impact on the ocean.

Seas at Risk is a Brussels-based association of European environmental groups that has spent the last 25 years working to protect European seas and the wider North East Atlantic.

As we previously reported, the ocean has enormous “garbage patches” of swirling debris, fueled by litter produced on the land (see photos). Plastic decomposes slowly in the ocean, breaking into small pieces that can get ingested by marine life.

Once plastic gets in the ocean, there are currently no cost-effective ways to get most of it out. So advocates are asking the public to help reduce litter and overall plastic use.


Brian Clark Howard covers the environment for National Geographic. He previously served as an editor for and E/The Environmental Magazine, and has written for Popular Science,,,, Yahoo!, MSN, and elsewhere. He is the co-author of six books, including Geothermal HVACGreen LightingBuild Your Own Small Wind Power System, and Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater.

  • Ima Ryma

    The origin of plastic name
    Is Latin and Greek for to mold.
    From petrochemicals it came,
    Took a while but humans got sold
    On molding of plastic into
    Ev’ry form and fashion for use,
    Then dumping as humans do do,
    More careless with plastic abuse.
    All the world is plastically
    Becoming an uglier form.
    More and more plastic all will be,
    Cuz hooked on plastic is the norm.

    Plastic, plastic – everywhere,
    Molding all water, land and air.

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