Plastic one of three top concerns for ocean - marine expert

Weekend Life 14/04/2018
Image: Getty.

We know we have a plastic problem in this country, and in the world, but there’s a new local campaign that’s really trying to deal to one of the biggest plastic issues - the single-use plastic bag.

‘Shark Man’ Riley Elliott is a spokesman for Bags Not and joined Carly Flynn on Weekend Life.

The Bags Not campaign is aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating single-use plastic bags and other plastic waste from our environment by encouraging and supporting Kiwis to say no to plastic.

Mr Elliott said that people don’t understand the long-term impacts of plastic.

“Plastic is becoming literally one of the top three concerns after overfishing and climate change.”

If every Kiwi went a week without single-use plastic bags it would stop 30 million new ones going into the environment.

This is a real serious issue.

Plastic doesn’t break down organically, instead it breaks down intro microplastics which get eaten by plankton and other small marine life then working its way up the food chain - ultimately ending up on our dinner plates.

“These are highly toxic chemicals that we can’t breakdown, and do buildup, and are causing huge detriment to marine animals but also to ourselves.”

Mr Elliott said that he doesn’t use any single-use plastic bags anymore and he’s glad that corporates are realising the responsibility they have to reducing the amount of plastic going into the environment.

He said that this campaign is a great catalyst to empowering the public and getting them on the bandwagon.

Listen to the full interview with Riley Elliott above.

Weekend Life with Carly Flynn,10am - 2pm on Saturday and streaming live on 'rova' channel 9 - available on Android and iPhone.