Since the Second World War, more and more plastic products have appeared in our homes, but not only. Plastic pollution of our seas is in fact one of the major environmental issues that we must face. Have you ever heard of the plastic island or Great Pacific Garbage Patch? The debris, pushed by the currents, concentrates in certain areas where it becomes trapped in water vortexes. The result is a build-up of islands that show how necessary it is to act quickly.
Today, life without plastic would be unthinkable, yet more and more companies are choosing more sustainable solutions. Although the use of alternative or recycled materials is increasing, plastics are still widely used. Just think, every year we produce around 275 million tonnes of plastic waste and around 8 million of these end up in our seas and oceans.
THE IMPACT OF PLASTIC POLLUTION
Plastic debris is more impactful in developing countries due to inefficient garbage collection systems. However, even if less visible, also developed countries also face this problem. Plastic pollution represents a threat to plants, animals and people. The chemical composition makes plastics resistant to natural degradation, resulting in a huge accumulation of debris in seas.
Although we do not know the exact number of plastic debris in the seas, we do know that the situation to date is tragic. In 2016, it was estimated that there were around 150 million tons of plastics in oceans. The worrying thing is that the quantity will probably reach 250 tonnes by 2025.
Depending on the type of plastic, there are different impacts on the environment and on fauna:
- Macroplastics (> 25 mm) and mesoplastics (between 5 and 25 mm in size) in our seas can be deadly for wildlife. Think of the photos of seals and turtles strangled by abandoned fishing nets or those of marine mammals with large amounts of plastic waste in their stomachs.
- Microplastics (5 mm or less in size) can be produced by industry or originate from the degradation of larger plastic objects. They are toxic if ingested by fish and other animals and can end up on our tables.
So how can we reduce plastic in our seas?
As you know, reducing consumption, using recycled plastics or alternative materials can reduce the increasing environmental impact of plastic. But there are also local and international initiatives you can support too. Indeed, many active organizations adopt hi-tech solutions to clean up the sea and beaches every year. Among them, the Australian start-up Seabin Project has used hi-tech “seabins” since 2016 to remove plastics from marinas, yacht clubs, ports and any water body with a calm environment.
A seabin is a floating container that pumps water into the device. It intercepts floating debris, macro plastics, microplastics and even microfibers. With 860 seabins installed worldwide, Seabin Project is making a real contribution to the environment. Thanks to the 3.9 tons of debris captured each day, the total amount of waste collected until today is 1700 tons.
At R3UNITE we think that fashion is a way to support sustainability and to give back to the world what we took from it. Therefore, we have chosen Seabin Project as the partner for our SEA collection. In fact, part of the proceeds from the sale of this collection dedicated to this project will finance the installation of new seabins in the Mediterranean Sea. Our aim is to enable the Seabin Project to remove 6.5 tons of plastic debris from the sea or to filter 1 million litres of water. We are talking about the equivalent of 410 Olympic swimming pools.
Discover our SEA collection and help us to clean up the sea.