Planet or plastic

May 31, 2018

National Geographic’s multi-year initiative aimed at raising awareness of the plastic pollution challenge and reducing the amount of single-use plastic that enters in the world’s oceans has reached out to people in the Benalla region via the Benalla Ensign.

The high-profile US-based magazine wants change as it will not only benefit the thousands to potentially millions of marine animals that become entangled in, suffocated by, or ingest plastic each year, but will also contribute to the overall health of the planet’s marine ecosystems and all who rely upon them.

National Geographic Partners chief executive Gary E Knell said each year an unbelievable 8.1 million tonnes of plastic waste ends up in the ocean.

Mr Knell said some estimates suggest this plastic could remain in marine environments for 450 years or longer, and the problem is only getting worse.

He said addressing a challenge of this magnitude requires an unprecedented approach.

‘‘Through the Planet or Plastic? initiative, we will share the stories of this growing crisis, work to address it through the latest science and research, and educate audiences around the world about how to eliminate single-use plastics and prevent them from making their way into our oceans,’’ Mr Knell added.

‘‘National Geographic is asking audiences around the world to take the Planet or Plastic? pledge, a commitment to reducing their use of single-use plastic,’’ he said.

‘‘By taking the pledge, individuals will become part of a global community working together to stem the tide of single-use plastic polluting the ocean and will continue to receive information and tips to help them in their efforts.

‘‘The pledge marks the beginning of a comprehensive consumer awareness and engagement campaign that National Geographic will execute across its multiple platforms in the months and years to come.’’

Elements of this campaign will range from inspiring and informative content, ongoing consumer engagement activities, events and more. Get project updates at, check out amazing plastic facts at or join the social media conversation via #planetorplastic.

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