Plastic is a convenient material; its low-cost nature has made it the go to material for companies around the world. It is malleable and almost immortal in its nature making it perfect to keep perishable material such as food safer for a longer period of time.
Out of the 300 million tons of plastic that are produced each year, half of this is used within single use items such as water bottles, carrier bags and straws.
Out of this 300 million it is estimated that at least 8 million tons of plastic enters our ocean each year with 80% of this plastic coming from land-based sources.
Plastic production is expected to double within the next two decades with experts predicting that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
There have however been many scientists conducting research into potentially biodegradable alternatives to conventional plastics. Alternatives made from bamboo, seaweed agar and fish waste have been suggested to potentially solve our current plastic crisis.
In the interview below Dr Francesca M. Kerton of the Memorial Newfoundland University who has been working on a sustainable plastic alternative explains why this is an urgent matter.