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Marine Plastic Debris and Microplastics

Global Lessons and Research to Inspire Action and Guide Policy Change

image of Marine Plastic Debris and Microplastics

This report presents both short- and long-term approaches to the problem of marine plastic debris and micro plastics. It provides an overview of the latest science and experiences, identifies priority areas of action, and points out areas requiring more research. Improved waste management is urgently needed to reduce the flow of plastic into our oceans.

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Foreword

The global production of plastics in 2014 was 311 million tonnes. It has been estimated that in 2010 alone, between 4.8-12.7 million metric tons of plastic found their way into our oceans. Plastic debris and microplastics is transported by ocean currents across borders. It is found everywhere, even on the remotest shores of uninhabited islands, in the Arctic ice, the deep ocean and in a broad array of marine organisms. Whether due to poor waste and wastewater management, accidental losses that could have been prevented, or illegal dumping, the “leakage” of this debris into our oceans has serious environmental, social and economic consequences. It harms wildlife, safety of sea transport, fisheries, tourism, recreation, it threatens marine ecosystems and morally should be considered a common concern of mankind.

English

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