Plastics Stories

  • Q&A: Activist Betty Osei Bonsu on plastic waste, finding solutions, and galvanizing youth

    November 07, 2023

    Activists play a significant role in encouraging governments to effectively tackle the plastic pollution crisis. Among them is Betty Osei Bonsu, who is mobilizing youth to fight for a solution—for people and the planet.

    Betty Osei Bonsup stands at a lectern giving a speech in a blue blazer and white shirt
  • World leaders aim to take major step toward tackling plastic pollution

    May 24, 2023

    Later this month, WWF will join world leaders and other key stakeholders in Paris, France, for the second of five United Nations-hosted meetings to negotiate the treaty. This meeting will be the first time negotiators start mapping out the basis for the treaty’s framework before the first draft is started later this year.

    Aerial view of plastics clogging a river between homes in Indonesia
  • How reframing recycling systems can protect people and the planet

    November 15, 2022

    Right now, the burden falls on individuals to sort household waste for recycling and on communities to fund and operate recycling programs. Under a new program, this responsibility is transferred to the companies that use these materials for their products and packaging.

    Two people stand on an elevated walkway overlooking a recycling plant
  • Turning the tide on plastic waste management

    June 08, 2022

    We need policymakers and business leaders to take game-changing actions to help us transition from our current linear, “take-make-waste" relationship with plastic to a circular one.

    A plastic bottle on a pebble beach sits in the foreground with a sillouhette of a man in the background
  • UN takes huge step toward ending plastic pollution

    March 02, 2022

    Today countries from around the world unanimously agreed to develop a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution. In doing so, the United Nations Environment Assembly took one of the world’s most ambitious environmental actions since the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which effectively phased out ozone-depleting substances.

    People in white shirts and red hats pick up plastic waste on a beach in Indonesia.
  • 3 ways the US can act on the plastic waste crisis and protect our oceans

    An exorbitant amount of plastic waste continues to plague our oceans, threatening marine life and the people who depend on these waters for their livelihoods. Despite the dire scope of this crisis, the growing momentum to address it is promising.

    Jellyfish (Catostylus sp.) swims beneath a slick of plastic debris. Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka.
  • Women Leading the Plastic Revolution

    March 08, 2021

    WWF invited some of the women leading the charge against plastic pollution to share their thoughts on the significance of the plastic waste crisis being felt in all corners of the planet.

    Women and a man search through seaweed for microplastics on a beach on a sunny day
  • How changing the way we think about—and use—single-use plastics can help people and nature

    February 26, 2021

    We can prevent a dire future, where plastic production is tripled by 2050, if we choose action now to reduce the number of single-use products produced and to ensure that the rest are made from recycled or responsibly sourced content rather than fossil fuels.

    A semi circle of plastics surround a tiny recycling bin on a blue background
  • Whales and the plastics problem

    February 18, 2021

    Protecting whales is crucial to protecting healthy oceans for all of us. Yet even these ocean giants are being impacted by the "deadliest predator in the sea": plastic pollution.

    A sperm whale floats toward the surface of the ocean while a white plastic bag floats just below
  • Ghost fishing gear

    October 20, 2020

    Ghost fishing gear includes any abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded fishing gear. It is the deadliest form of marine plastic debris and often goes unseen. Learn more about how you can help stop this silent killer and protect the health of our ocean its inhabitants.

    A large seal on the beach with its neck caught in abandoned fishing gear
  • Working with companies to fix the plastic crisis – on World Oceans Day and every day

    June 08, 2020

    Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our oceans today. While cleaning up existing trash is a critical step on the path to a healthier planet, what's even more important is turning off the tap to stop the flow of plastic into our environment altogether. Research shows that as few as 100 companies could prevent 50 million tons of plastic waste. In 2019, WWF launched ReSource: Plastic, a new global initiative to help companies turn their plastic reduction commitments into measureable action.

    A plastic bag underwater
  • This simple bottled water alternative is a no-brainer

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2020
    Since less than 10% of plastic waste gets recycled in the US, most of those water bottles wind up in dumps, where they won’t break down for hundreds of years. Here's how to reduce your plastic waste.
    Reusing bottle
  • Our oceans are haunted by ghost nets: Why that's scary and what we can do

    Ghost nets don’t only catch fish; they also entangle sea turtles, dolphins and porpoises, birds, sharks, seals, and more. Since hundreds of animals can be caught in a single net, you can see just how monumental this threat is.

    sea turtle and net WW24369 Jordi Chias
  • An uninhabited Australian island littered with plastic

    May 16, 2019

    A tiny, remote island, visited only by nesting turtles and crocs, situated in the middle of nowhere, is now choking with plastic. 

    plastic at Millman RSwwfau12358
  • Tackling plastic pollution in the Galápagos

    October 24, 2018

    Around the world, humans produce an estimated 1.3 billion tons of plastic waste per year, a number that is set to increase to 2.2 billion by 2025. In countries such as Ecuador that have limited garbage collection services, some of this plastic waste inevitably ends up back in the oceans or on beaches, where it has the potential to harm and human health.

    blue footed booby galapagos Tui De Roy WW24425
  • We’re one step closer to keeping trash and plastic out of our oceans

    October 18, 2018

    Nearly 124,000 WWF activists from 49 states reached out to their member of Congress to support a bipartisan bill to take a stand on ocean plastic, and their impressive efforts paid off.

    humback whale jump
  • 7 ways you can help save the ocean

    June 06, 2018

    Covering more than 70% of our planet’s surface, the ocean contains the largest diversity of life on Earth and affects everything from global weather patterns to food systems. Learn what steps you can take help protect the ocean. 

    ecuador ocean WW288186 Antonio Busiello
  • Pursuing and Achieving Sustainable Solutions for Plastics

    November 19, 2013

    Plant-based plastics, if responsibly produced from renewable resources in an efficient manner can provide more viable solutions over fossil-based resources if these risks are addressed.

    bulrush in field