Across the world, it is estimated that 13 million tons of plastic reach the oceans each year. More than a million mammals, fish and birds suffer or die annually either from ingesting this plastic or becoming entangled in it.
It is reported that around 90% of all fish now carry plastic particles in their stomachs. These toxic chemicals accumulate throughout the food chain and eventually also pass into human bodies.
About 90% of plastic waste transported into the ocean comes from just 10 major rivers. These are the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai, Pearl, Amur, Mekong, Indus and Ganges in Asia, and the Niger and Nile in Africa. They run through populous areas of some of the least developed countries where there is not only a lack of waste collection and recycling infrastructure, but also limited environmental awareness.