Our oceans are being filled 8 million metric tons of plastic waste each year, as a result of improper waste management throughout the plastic value chain. Most of it comes from 10 rivers where people have no real waste management.
The Problem - Impacts
Biodiversity: Marine plastics are the biggest debris threat to marine life, having killed more than 700 species (Gall et al., 2015).
Microplastics: Plastics fragment into small pieces (<5mm) that may be consumed by small marine organisms and enter the human food chain.
Toxic: Chemicals absorbed by plastics in the environment could be transferred to marine life if consumed.
GHG Emissions: Plastics. release methane and ethylene, potent greenhouse gases as they degrade.
Social value: Accumulation of plastics debris reduces the enjoyment of natural spaces, and increases risk of disease.
Economics: $2.5tn per year in lost marine ecosystem value (Beaumont et al 2019).
If current pollution levels continue there will be more plastic than fish in the Ocean by 2050.