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Majestic fin whales

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Footballs used to highlight plastic waste

Photographer, Mandy Barker has combined her interest in taking pictures and football (or soccer) to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean and on the shorelines of the world.

Her latest, thought-provoking photography project was triggered in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup and uses striking images of washed-up plastic footballs to shed light on the sheer scale of plastic debris.

Mandy has been photographing plastic waste for many years and, after she put out a request on social media for people around the world to send her footballs that had been found washed up on beaches, over 900 balls were recovered from 41 different islands by members of the public from 144 different beaches around the world. One ball appears to herald from the 1960s and shows how long plastic lasts. 

Like single use plastics (drinks bottles, coffee cups, cutlery, straws and food packaging), which are often only used for a few minutes, plastic footballs also never biodegrade. Plastic poses a serious risk to the lives of whales and dolphins with over 50% of all species having been observed eating plastic waste that they have mistaken for food. 

More on Mandy’s work – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/da81027d-93bf-4e3b-8a72-4476052f7ecb

For more information on plastic pollution and inspiring ideas to help reduce your plastic use, visit WDC’s www.notwhalefood.com or search for #NotWhaleFood on social media.