Oh, it looks like the bottle slipped while you were trying to pick it up. It's difficult to pick out plastic once it's descending into the water. Let's follow it and see what where it's going.

Over 300 million tons

of plastic are being produced every year. 8 million tons of that are dumped into the ocean. 14% of all litter come from beverage bottles like this one.

These degrading plastics leach toxic PCBs (Polychlorinated Bipheynls) and BPAs (bisphenol A) that accumulate in human and animal tissue.

Plastics like this break down into microplastics
that are ingested by ocean animals. It looks like some fish are coming towards this bottle now.

When you see the white bar, keep pressing the
back arrow key to keep the fish from eating
the plastic!

It looks like all of the fish got away after eating the plastic. Ingesting plastic is very harmful to both people and animals. It's likely that the runaway fish will become very sick, and may even die. Luckily, one stuck around. Click on the fish to see if we can help clear out some of the plastics in there.

Leave the fish

Hover over the plastic pieces to learn more
about what harm they can do.
Click on the plastic to clear it out.

Nurdles are small round pieces of plastic that are melted and used to create larger pieces of plastic. Spills and mishandling leads to these ending up in oceans and in the bodies of sea animals. Like other plastics, they don't go away and only breakdown into smaller pieces.
Plastic bottles breakdown into sharp pieces like these. Algae gets stuck to them and cause fish and other creatures to eat them, thinking that it's food. These sharp edges can cause internal injury, possibly leading
to death.
Polyester is a major culprit in producing microplastics. Each cycle of a washing machine could release more than 700,000 microscopic plastic fibres into the environment. They get washed into domestic wastewater and then into sewage treatment plants, where they get mixed into sewage. Eventually, they make their way into fish like this one.

Plastic pollution effects more than just the fish.
The contaminated fish and sea creatures
are caught and sold for human consumption
every day. The toxins in the fish have been
linked to cancers, birth defects, immune system problems, and childhood developmental issues in humans... and there's even more than that.

There's more?

The damage you've seen so far all came from smaller plastics, like bottles and fleece sweaters. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The ocean has become a dumping ground, where large pieces of trash are regularly deposited. These objects down here are just a few examples of things that are inappropriately thrown away.


These pollutants taint our ocean ecosystems and hurts everything in it, and out of it. As of right now, there are over 5.25 trillion pieces of garbage in our oceans, and that number is only going up.


All hope is not lost. You can make a change right now by recycling responsibly, reducing the amount of plastics you consume, and, if you do use plastic products, reusing them before disposing of them.


To help even further, you can donate and support those cleaning up our oceans on the front-lines. The Ocean Cleanup group aims for a plastic free ocean by 2050. This can be possible with your assistance.


Thanks for listening.
If you enjoyed this, consider sharing this with your friends.

This experience was created by Paul Hwang.
Special thanks to AJ Banerjee.


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