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Actress Shailene Woodley: Plastics have caused a true ocean, marine crisis

Brian Sozzi

Actress and longtime environmentalist Shailene Woodley is keeping it real on the state of the world’s oceans.

“We are in a crisis right now, a true climate, ocean, marine life crisis,” Woodley said on Yahoo Finance’s YFI AM. The “Big Little Lies” star said while Corporate America has taken some modest steps to use fewer plastics in their production, more needs to be done to address the gross excess that is still clogging up the world’s oceans.

Woodley is now hitching her activist star power to American Express (AXP). a longtime plastic user. The credit card company — known for its light green plastic credit cards — revealed Monday its first-ever card made primarily from reclaimed plastic from beaches, islands and coastal communities. It’s linked up with noted ocean waste activist Parley for the Oceans for the effort, which includes a #BackOurOceans social media campaign.

American Express has also promised to launch a new card recycling program starting in 2020.

Shailene Woodley attends The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Hollywood Reporter's Toronto International Film Festival party on day three of TIFF at the Four Seasons Hotel on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Toronto. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

‘Real crisis is micro plastics’

“It’s bad. The equivalent of one truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute. There is enough plastic in our oceans to circle the world 400 times. These are rough estimates,” says Woodley. “The real crisis is micro plastics, which we can’t see. Right now we don’t have the technology to clean up the oceans in the way that we need to in the scale that we need to.”

The numbers around plastic driven ocean pollution are rather startling. They go a long way in explaining why supermarkets have done away with plastic bags and footwear makers have explored making sneakers from recycled materials. Around 8 million metric tons of plastic enter oceans each year, according to Ocean Blue Project. According to the Ocean Conservancy, 60% of all seabirds and nearly 100% of sea turtles have mistaken plastic for food.

“Consumers and corporations need to work together to innovate and create new options,” said Woodley.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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