A sea turtle strangled by a discarded plastic six-pack ring. A pelican smothered in a plastic bag. These are just two of the types of tragedies caused by the enormous amount of plastic found in our oceans. University of Georgia engineering professor Jenna Jambeck’s research has drawn more attention to the crisis, and she is scheduled to address an event at the United Nations Friday via video.
The theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is combating plastic pollution, a problem that has been piling up—quite literally—for decades. Jambeck estimates between 5.3 million and 14 million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year.
World Oceans Day was created to raise awareness about how we as a planet can help preserve our oceans. It is celebrated every year on June 8.