Plastic waste heading for oceans quantifiedPosted on February 16, 2015 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
About eight million tonnes of plastic waste find their way into the world’s oceans each year, say scientists.
The new study is said to be the best effort yet to quantify just how much of this debris is being dumped, blown or simply washed out to sea.
“The quantity entering the ocean is equal to about five plastic grocery bags full of plastic for every foot of coastline in the world,” she told BBC News.
The study suggests that, left unchecked, 17.5 million tonnes a year could be entering the oceans by 2025. Cumulatively, that is 155 million tonnes between now and then.
And with global “peak waste” unlikely to be reached before 2100, according to World Bank calculations, the situation becomes ever more pressing.
Co-author Roland Geyer, from the University of California at Santa Barbara, said it was not feasible to clean the oceans of plastic; “turning off the tap” was the only solution,” he told BBC News.
“How could you even collect plastics from the ocean floor given that the average depth is 14,000ft? We need to prevent plastics entering the oceans in the first place. Lack of formal waste management systems causes high plastic waste inputs into the ocean. So, helping every country to develop a sound solid waste management infrastructure is a top priority.”
Will this new information showing our current business as usual consequences cause a change going forward? Changes have to be made. The disposable plastic consumer
items is the easiest one to grapple with and cut back.