June is World Oceans Month and our friends at UN Environment have a plan to bring awareness to the pollution crisis hurting our largest bodies of water and life on this planet. The #CleanSeasPhoto campaign is a user-generated social media competition about marine litter and oceans, and it's a ridiculously easy way for anyone with a smartphone or a camera to get involved in a global issue. Your time on Instagram can finally be put to good use.
Over-consumption of non-biodegradable plastic materials is the main culprit of ocean pollution. At least 8 million tons of plastic wind up in the ocean each year, not including other kinds of refuse like glass, rubber, ceramics, textiles, wood and metals. Plastic pollution, in particular, comes from non-recycled packages and bottles, microbeads in cosmetics and soaps, and plastic bags. Right now, experts estimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.
Anyone can participate just remember to tag @UNEP and use the hashtag #CleanSeasPhoto for the chance to have your work get a shout out from the UN on Twitter or Instagram. You already have a million selfies on your feed, so get weird with some cool aquatic imagery. The winner of the contest gets a free trip to San Diego, and who doesn't love a free junket? After you take your photos, here are some other ways you can help.
June is World Oceans Month and VICE Impact will be regularly featuring content related to protecting the world's oceans. Don't just watch, act.