Plastics and the circular economy

Plastics and the circular economy

In this video, Vincent focuses on how plastics are harmful to ocean ecosystems. Outlining a history of how plastic found its way into the open ocean, Vincent emphasises the risks of continued plastic leakage into open water. The negative impacts of plastic pollution range from biodiversity loss and contributing to climate change, to negative impacts on human health and tourism. Vincent focuses on how we can transition from a linear to a circular economy.

A third of plastic ends up in nature. 11 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean every year and that number is set to triple by 2040. How did we get here? Plastic has been a dominant material, which has increased in demand since the early 20th century due to its resilience and durability. Yet, 75% of all the plastic ever produced is now waste. Only 9% of the global plastic package is collected for recycling and just 2% is reused as packaging. Vincent encourages firms to use existing solutions and technologies alongside concerted actions to ‘break the plastic wave’.

Key learning objectives:

  • Explore the six major threats currently impacting the ocean

  • Understand the scale of the issues threatening the ocean

  • Briefly explore how the threats to the ocean can be mitigated

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Vincent Kneefel

Vincent Kneefel

Vincent Kneefel is an underwater photographer, ocean conservationist and circular economy expert. He has worked for organizations such as WWF, United Nations and Accenture on strategic sustainability and ocean conservation initiatives. His photographs show some of the most iconic and endangered creatures of our ocean.