18 Jan 2015

Dr Jennifer Lavers (young Australian of the Year and marine biologist) at Plastic-Free Summer Festival, Fremantle Town Hall.

Having spent a lot of time in 40 remote islands studying animals, Dr Lavers reviews the health of these animals acts as an indicator of the health of our oceans and environment.

In this presentation, we have a brief history of the creation of plastic in a laboratory around 150 years ago. This has now become a global problem affecting seabird and marine species in all corners of the world. This is happening at an alarming rate more serious than sea level rising and global warming.

The plastics manufactured 50-70 years ago is still around sitting in landfill or drifting in the ocean. They have not disappeared but broken down into micro plastics attracting pollutants and heavy metals, then ingested by the smallest marine species entering the food web.

We have a throw away society. Single use plastic items are produced to suit our convenient lifestyle. These figures highlighting the extent of the pollution. 2.4 millions pieces of plastic enter the ocean every hour. 50,000 plastic bags in every square miles of the world's ocean. 1 million plastic cups used in US airline flights every 6 hours! 

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