Common Seas

Blood Type Plastic

  • campaigning
  • digital-events
  • lobbying
  • media-strategy
  • media-training
  • social-media

What we did


Common Seas is a social enterprise tackling the plastic pollution crisis by driving new policy, investing in the circular economy and catalysing a cultural shift in how we make, use and dispose of plastic. In an effort to drive awareness around the prevalence of plastic pollution, Common Seas commissioned a study, led by scientists at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to test plastic particles in the human blood stream. This was the first study of its kind in the world. The results of this ‘Blood Type Plastic’ study revealed that the blood of 77% of people tested contained plastic particles. The polymers found in the blood are used in a wide range of everyday products such as plastic water bottles and plastic carrier bags.

Following these findings, Common Seas is calling on the UK Government to introduce a new £15 million National Plastic Health Impact Research Fund.


Higginson raised the profile of the Blood Type Plastic study by securing an exclusive in depth feature in The Guardian, both in print and online. As part of the campaign, the influence of the global press coverage and increased public awareness will urge the UK Government to introduce the National Plastic Health Research Fund. The Fund will be used to finance urgent research to understand how the particles in human blood and the ever-increasing exposure to plastic in day-to-day life is affecting human health.


Higginson secured over 450 pieces of coverage worldwide with a combined online readership of more than six billion people. Highlights include The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, USA Today, TF1 and Bloomberg. An interview between former science editor of the BBC and environmental / sustainability influencer, David Shukman and CEO and founder of Common Seas, Jo Royle.

Following the global coverage, more than 60,000 people signed the online petition to demand more research into the human health impacts of plastic and the harm that it is causing.

450 Pieces of Coverage Worldwide

Six Billion Readers

Over 60,000 Signatures on Petition

Gaining global coverage

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