Biodegrade: Break down into a different chemical compound by bacteria or other living organisms. Marine biodegradable plastics such as PHA can be degraded by marine bacteria and other microorganisms and broken down into CO2 and water under certain conditions in the ocean.
Disintegrate: Break up into small parts as the result of impact or decay. Many plastics in the ocean disintegrate into smaller and smaller pieces until they become Micro or Nanoplastics. These Nanoplastics may be able to accumulate inside sea creatures and pass up the food chain to humans. Further scientific research is needed to confirm this.
Macroplastic: Greater than 5 mm in length.
Microplastic: Less than 5 mm in length.
Nanoplastic: Less than 100 nm in length.
Plastic Alternatives: Items, especially single-use or disposable plastic, that do not contain plastic such as paper straws, plates and cups, wooden cutlery, stainless steel straws, reusable shopping bags made from hemp or cotton, food wraps such as seaweed films or beeswax wraps.
Plastic Pollution: This is the accumulation of plastic objects in the Earth's environment, eg, plastic bottles and plastic bags etc.
Plastic Soup: This is also known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," plastic pollution in the sea ranging from Macroplastics, Microplastics and Nanoplastics.
Recover: Convert plastic waste into resources such as electricity, heat, compost and fuel through thermal and biological means.
Recycle: Sort and collect rubbish to treat it and produce useful materials that can be used again.
Reduce: Use fewer plastics and look to use non-plastic alternatives like paper straws.
Reuse: Substitute single-use plastic items with multi-use items like bamboo cutlery and glass Keep Cups. If using plastics, choose plastics that can be used many times without discarding them.