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The Complicated Journey of Marine Plastic Pollution

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Welcome to the Plastic Vagabond--a short film co-produced by Parafilms and Tara Expeditions with help from the Conservation Media Group that follows the journey of marine plastic pollution and encourages people to take action. 

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The aim of this project is to raise awareness of the increasingly dire issue of marine plastic pollution and encourage people to participate in solutions.

Find out more about the Tara Ocean Expeditions featured in the film.
For a comprehensive report on The New Plastic Economy check out this recent report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Read more about the Plastisphere--an entirely new ecosystem forming in the ocean due to the massive amounts of plastic trash. Check out Life in the “Plastisphere”: Microbial Communities on Plastic Marine Debris.

Interested in entrepreneurial solutions to the problem of plastic pollution. Check out Think Beyond Plastic.

Subscribe to the Plastic Free Times written by the Plastic Pollution Coalition for a wealth of plastic pollution information.

Join the 5 Gyres--an institution working to restore healthy plastic free oceans.

Everyone can help clean up the ocean. For information on how to participate wherever you are in the world, please see these sites.

Internationally--Ocean International Conservancy Coastal Clean-up
Europe--Surfrider in Europe
Canada--Canada Shoreline Cleanup

For more information about plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Ocean where much of the footage for the film was shot please check out Beyond Plastic Med--a group of five organizations (IUCN, Tara Expeditions, Surfrider, the Mava Foundation and the Albert II of Monaco Foundation)  dedicated to researching and implementing  solutions to plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea.






Avatar for Tierney Thys
Lesson Creator
Carmel, California, United States
Plastic pieces can: 1) enter the food web and make animals sick, 2) transport harmful invasive species like viruses and toxic algae to places where they don't belong, 3) concentrate poisons like PCBs, DDT which are linked to cancers. They can also leach out bisphenol A which is a known hormone disruptor.
03/10/2016 • 
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See Supplemental information for addition resources during your discussion.
03/10/2016 • 
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Some ideas to share include: Upcycling plastics into useable materials or into art, recycling plastic, reducing our consumption of single use plastic by bringing reusable bags and containers to the market, buying in bulk, using reusable silverware and straws, reusing plastic bags, supporting businesses that reduce their packaging, switch to compostable packaging, create quality products from recycled plastic, vote for government policies that allocate funding to plastic pollution solutions. Check the supplemental information for more resources.
03/10/2016 • 
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Pros and cons of trying to pick up the plastic already in the ocean. Read Stiv Wilson's report on the Fallacy of Cleaning the Gyres of Plastic with a Floating Ocean Clean Up Array. Stopping plastic from flowing out into the ocean with project's like Baltimore's Mr. TrashWheel.
03/10/2016 • 
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