With the new awareness campaign Sky Ocean Rescue the European TV channel wants to inspire people to take action to protect our planet. After the Sky Rainforest Rescue which helped to save one billion trees in Brazil, the new action focuses on or oceans which make up three-quarters of our planet.
Every minute, the equivalent of a rubbish truck load of plastic goes in to our oceans, it never decomposes and will remain there forever. If nothing changes, by 2050 all the plastic in the ocean could weigh more than all the fish. Plastic impacts on an entire ecosystem, marine life get caught up in it, eat it and live in it. It also has a direct impact on our health, acting as a sponge for toxins which can end up in our food.
More plastic was made in the first decade of the 21st century than the whole of the 20th.Manufacturers churned out 311 million tonnes of the material in 2014 alone. Over the next 30 years, annual production of plastic is predicted to soar to 1.8 billion tonnes – the same weight as almost 250,000 Eiffel Towers. That means by 2050, the plastic in the world’s oceans will weigh more than all the fish, according to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
"Almost 80% of plastic in the ocean started off being discarded by someone on land",Thomas Moore points out in his report for Sky. Everyone is responsible for plastic in the ocean. "From 2014 to 2015, there was a 43% increase in the number of plastic bottles washing up on UK beaches.The UK’s rivers carry plastic from across the country out into the seas around us." Once plastic reaches open water it can be carried for thousands of miles, but it is more likely to join one of five huge circulating masses of water known as ocean gyres. Gyres are mainly made up of tiny fragments of plastic that build up over time. These huge masses of plastic are found all over the world.
„We’ll bring the issues of ocean health to life and discuss the solutions“, states the European TV company. Sky News will take the lead by airing the special one hour documentary A Plastic Tide showing how plastics are affecting our oceans.
Through the campaign Sky will explore the different ways people can help to make a difference and will aim to inspire people to take action. The staff members in the TV stations in Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy are also going to look at everything that they do that impacts the oceans, from designing their products with less material, to ensuring their products are recycled. „Removing all single-use plastics is a significant step we are looking to take. We’ve made a good start by removing all plastic water bottles, plastic cups, straws, and our cutlery is made from corn-starch“, says the Sky team. „This is just the beginning of the changes – we are up for the challenge and will do more, including looking at our supply chain and the products we make.“
Photo: Sky – scene from Sky documentary A Plastic Tide