Over the past months we've become uncomfortably aware of the huge amounts of damage that plastic pollution is doing. According to EcoWatch, as much as eight million tons of the stuff make it into our oceans each year – destroying ecosystems, killing sea life and making its way back into the fish that we eat. Plastic doesn't break down in a hurry (we're talking hundreds of years) and making more to replace the stuff that we ditch is a hugely damaging process to the environment.
This week, there's been renewed interest in plastic waste as microbeads were finally banned and the government floated the idea of a "latte levy" to stop people from using takeaway coffee cups. And it's not a second too soon. The United Nations Environment Programme estimates there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050 if we keep going at our current rates.
Photographer Dan Kitwood's latest project serves to highlight our wastage by taking pictures of plastic items found on the shore of the Thames Estuary in Rainham, Kent, in just one day – 2nd January 2018. Tons of plastic and other waste lines the shoreline of the Thames Estuary, which is, sadly, an important feeding ground for birds and other marine wildlife.
Click through to see just a small selection of what he found...