Throw away culture makes sea of plastic

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 26 February 2010

A mid ocean floating plastic dump, that’s just been discovered in the Atlantic, has been labelled a sad indictment of our throw away culture and a potential menace to marine wildlife and humans, by MCS.

A mid ocean floating plastic dump, that’s just been discovered in the Atlantic, has been labelled a sad indictment of our throw away culture and a potential menace to marine wildlife and humans, by MCS. The area, where plastic waste appears to accumulate, is similar to a site in the Pacific Ocean dubbed é’The Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ This latest discovery is the culmination of a twenty- year plastic marine debris datatest study by the Sea Education Association in Massachusetts, USA This dataset, comprised of more than 6,150 surface plankton net tows and shows that plastic debris accumulates in a narrow band in the western North Atlantic, roughly the latitude of Palm Beach, in Florida. Sue Kinsey from the MCS Litter Team, says she’s not surprised by these latest findings. ” Floating debris can be transported huge distances by wind and currents which means that items from different countries can end up on far flung beaches around the world. Our Beachwatch litter surveys have shown that litter on our beaches has increased by over 70% since 1994 and plastic litter by an incredible 121%. We all need to work together to ensure that the sea is no longer used as a dumping ground Ø MCS runs a number of litter campaigns to raise awareness of the long term damage rubbish has on our beaches and seas. Sue Kinsey says continued public support is vital “Every year we work with thousands of volunteers who help monitor the litter found on UK beaches through the Beachwatch programme. The data from that has led to creating specific campaigns around areas of particular concern, such as plastic bags and balloon releases. Ø “We’re currently lobbying governments to produce an action plan to tackle marine litter and urging them to appoint one agency to coordinate these efforts. Ø You can help by getting involved with Beachwatch and our other campaigns by signing up via the website

Actions you can take


Did you know?…

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%

MCS first launched the Good Beach Guide in 1987 as a book to highlight the woeful state of the UK’s bathing waters

Every day millions of microplastics enter the sea from personal care products such as scrubs and toothpastes

Stop the plastic tide

Support our appeal to turn the tide on plastics.

Find out more