ORCA's Wildlife Officer in the Hebrides, Andy, joined dozens of local people at an event this week The most recemarking the start of the Marine Plastics Summit.
The most recent tragedy in the devastating story of plastic impacting cetaceans came earlier this month, with a pilot whale found in Thailand with 80 plastic carrier bags in it's stomach - almost eight kilos of plastic.
This incident in South East Asia is the latest in a long line of upsetting examples of the impact of plastic pollution on the marine environment. Just last year a Cuviers' beaked whale, a species well known to ORCA from our work in the Bay of Biscay, was found in a similarly bad state, and even larger whales can be affected, such as the sperm whale discovered in Spain killed by plastic waste from farming.
ORCA are proud that many of our partners are taking steps across their business to try and minimise the impact made by their plastic usage, and earlier this month CalMac announced a series of measures designed to reduce single use plastic on their ships to mark World Oceans Day.
Building on this, and on the eve of the Marine Plastics Summit in Scotland, CalMac, ORCA and other groups took part in an event at the Scottish Association for Marine Science to help raise awareness of the threat plastics poses.
Over 70 people attended a screening of "A Plastic Ocean", the hard hitting documentary shining a light on the issue of plastics in our seas. This was followed by prizes for local children who had written poems about the sea, and was also accompanied by a Q&A session talking about how we can all play our part in reducing our use of plastics.
Community led events like this are one of the best ways to encourage people to change their behaviour and to build towards a future where we can see cleaner and safer oceans. We are proud our partners are working hard to support initiatives like this, and look forward to more opportunities to work with the community in the Hebrides for the rest of the season and beyond.