The challenge of eliminating plastic waste to landfill is a widely debated topic, however perhaps lesser known but just as significant, is the quantity of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans.
Until now, little research existed evidencing the scale of this issue. According to a new study, by the National Centre of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) Working Group, an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste makes its way from land to sea annually. This causes pollution to the environment, is harmful to marine life and can often enter the food chain when digested by fish or marine mammals.
This plastic waste equates to five full shopping bags for every foot of coastline in the world. Researchers predict that by 2025, this will have increased to ten bags!
The study also highlights the world’s 20 biggest sources of ‘mismanaged plastic waste’ by country with China creating the most at 28%, followed by Indonesia at 10% and the Philippines.