My research as a marine biologist has focused on plastic in the ocean, and what this means for us humans. I was part of the team who documented the most plastic polluted beach in the world, the remote Henderson Island (in the Pitcairn island group, South Pacific), where several thousand pieces of plastic wash up every day from all around the world. While there I started to look inside commonly eaten fish species, eventually documenting the first records of plastic inside fish that people are eating in French Polynesia and across the Pacific Ocean. The more research I did, the more it seemed like the scientists had known about this problem for years, but businesses were still producing huge amounts of plastic waste. So for the past decade I've been working to share information & knowledge about the plastic pollution problem, and solutions that everyone can be part of to make a positive difference. Ultimately this is a design issue - making things we use once and throw away, out of a material which can last forever. It's up to all of us to stop supporting this bad design, to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and to support changes from businesses and legislation that can reduce plastic waste.
"Micro Plastic, Massive Problem" is a book I wrote this year to communicate the huge scope of this problem, alongside easy ways that all of us can be involved in being part of the solution. With the help of graphic designer Harriet Spark, we created a free book that is beautiful & fun to read, with the hope that people will read it and share it around. We have all the solutions we need to start addressing plastic pollution, one of the biggest threats facing our oceans, so this book can be a tool to help everyone learn more and get involved.
The book is now available in hard copy at the Mornington Yacht Club, or you can download it for free here: https://www.aliceforrest.com/micro-plastic-massive-problem