How Does Plastic Get into Oceans?
Ocean plastic has become a visible symbol of our global waste crisis. But how does plastic get into our oceans to begin with? 80% of it originates from land-based activities. When waste that is not collected, disposed of, or recycled properly it many times ends up in rivers and canals that then flows into our oceans.
The most common types of waterway plastic pollutants are plastic bags & bottles, styrofoam, drink boxes, and other food containers.
River waste is a significant threat to marine life, human health, and the environment. Animals can be harmed or killed by getting trapped in or eating this plastic waste, which then break down into microplastics that pollute our food chain.
Stemming the Plastic Tide
The TerraCycle Global Foundation starts ocean cleanup at the main source: our rivers and canals.
Our work in the canals of Bangkok, Thailand, has proven to be successful in mitigating the flow of waste into oceans. Collecting river waste before it reaches the ocean is more efficient and pulling it early reduces the chance it will break down into smaller hard to collect bits.
Not only do we directly remove trash from waterways to be recycled, but we also work to educate communities about proper waste management, so it doesn't get into out rivers to begin with. During local outreach activities and cleanup events, community members see how they can take action to stop waterway waste. Some have begun to hang and sort their waste for our teams to recycle; as a result we’ve seen an overall decline of certain waste types in the water.
Our products are made from 100% recycled materials—including the river plastics we collect.
When you purchase, not only are you giving trash a new life, but you are preventing it from polluting our oceans, and helping to fund our work!
Together, we can pull more plastic from waterways and stop it from reaching our oceans.