WE’RE UP T0 OUR BEAKS IN PLASTIC
HAUNTING new images suggest the plastic pollution we see is just the tip of the iceberg.
The cover image of National Geographic’s June issue has already gone viral, as shocking shots inside reveal the extent of the problem plaguing our planet. It comes after scientists recently found a plastic bag in the Mariana Trench — the deepest point in the ocean — nearly 11km below the surface.
Nat Geo senior photo editor Vaughn Wallace said the cover was “one for the ages”, as the magazine committed to delivering its issues in paper wrappers — rather than plastic.
Globally one million plastic bottles are bought each minute. Most of them end up in landfill or in the ocean, alongside plastic bags and other packaging, where they kill marine life.
Some experts have warned the plastic crisis is as bad as climate change. One report has found that the equivalent of a garbage truck worth of plastic was dumped into the world’s oceans every minute and that, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
A seabird stuck inside a plastic bag, pictured in the June National Geographic. Picture: John Cancalosi/ National Geographic