This campaign illustrates the plastic pollution crisis

Nine million tonnes of plastic are being dumped into the world’s oceans ever year. 

To raise awareness and warn people about the dangers of single-use plastic, National Geographic Abu Dhabi has partnered with 12 artists from the 12 countries most responsible for our planet’s pollution crisis. 

The organisation commissioned each artist to create illustrations depicting first hand accounts of the devastating effects of plastic pollution in their respective countries. The pieces are compiled in National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s 2019 calendar. 

With Egypt alone consuming 12 billion tonnes of single-use plastic bags annually, Egyptian artist Ahmed Karam’s illustration showcases a tiny dolphin trapped in a large plastic bag. 

“This is a big problem that we are ignoring and that I wanted to represent in my art,” Ahmed explained. “By deliberately creating the dolphin smaller than the bag, trapped within it, I am illustrating how we minimise or diminish the issue. This will only result in a bigger problem, one that will be far more complicated to manage if we don’t act now.”

Part of National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic campaign, which seeks to prevent one billion plastic items from reaching the ocean by 2020, the calendar is free to download in English and Arabic at

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