Eco-Living Magazine

Plastic Pollution in Ocean Set to Triple by 2040 Without Drastic Action

Posted on the 28 July 2020 by Ecoexperts @TheEcoExperts

Pew's report points out that current government and industry commitments are only likely to reduce annual plastic leakage into the ocean by 7%. A far greater scale of action at the system level is vital to overcome plastic pollution.

Although this paints quite a bleak picture, industry and governments around the globe have the capability to turn this around.

In fact, the report states that if the correct measures are put in place, we can reduce plastic leakage into the ocean by about 80% by 2040 - while maintaining other societal, economic, and environmental objectives.

To make this 80% reduction, governments need to take the following steps:

  • Reduce plastic production and consumption
  • Substitute plastic with paper and compostable materials
  • Design products and packaging that are able to be recycled
  • Expand waste collection rates in middle/low-income countries and support the 'informal collection' sector in developing countries
  • Build facilities to dispose of the 23% of plastic that cannot be recycled economically
  • Reduce plastic waste exports

"We are at a fork in the road. Industry has been saying 'we're going to do better'. Governments have taken steps. To the world, this will be the first eye-opening that our current efforts alone will not be enough. The global trajectory is going in the wrong direction. Clearly, we need a fundamental rethinking of our relationship with this material." - Nicholas Mallos, who oversees the Ocean Conservancy's marine debris program

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