Global effort could cut ocean plastics by 77% by 2025

Global effort could cut ocean plastics by 77% by 2025
Seal caught in plastic rope. Credit: Alex Mustard, courtesy of Marine Conservation Society

Global funding to revolutionise waste management in the world's worst polluting countries could clean up ocean plastic by 77% by 2025.

That's the claim in an exclusive report urging immediate action to step up waste management worldwide.

It comes a year after David Attenborough's BBC series, Blue Planet II horrified the nation with powerful images of wildlife harmed and slayed by .

"We have no right to harm the lives of other creatures by allowing plastics to get into the ," said Brunel University London Professor, Edward Kosior.

Launching the report at this week's Ocean Plastics Crisis Summit, Prof Kosior said: "This dire situation calls for strong immediate action to slow the rate at which waste is produced."

"We have to end this dig-use-discard mentality. Every package that's made should be recyclable. There's no excuse. It is a must for all."

The report says caps on plastic waste and stamping out waste mismanagement by the top 10 polluting countries, could cut ocean plastics by 77%. That would reduce yearly volume of plastic going into the oceans to 2.4 to 6.4 million tons by 2025.

Speaking at London's Royal Geographical Society, Professor Kosior who runs recycling company, Nextek dubbed the UK's export of plastics recycling to China 'scandalous' because it stops developing recycling here.

"Developed countries need to invest in developing countries with global support from the UN," he said, to help poorer countries better manage their .

Calling for 'a paradigm shift in ,' Prof Kosior added: "The global magnitude of the problem means it needs to be on the agendas of international leaders such as the G20 summits, UN Assembly and World Economic Forum."

What the report says

Co-written by Irene Crescenzi, Stopping Ocean Plastics an Agenda For Action highlights how:

  • Plastics use is growing in line with wealth
  • The biggest plastic leaking countries are China, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Sri Lanka
  • The many international laws already there to stop plastic pollution are not upheld
  • Richer countries need to pay to help deal with contamination
  • We need to cut out single use plastics and incentivising collection and recycling

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Provided by Brunel University
Citation: Global effort could cut ocean plastics by 77% by 2025 (2018, February 23) retrieved 24 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-global-effort-ocean-plastics.html
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Feb 25, 2018
It might reduce the quantity of plastic entering the oceans, but the vast amounts already in the water, on/in the sea floor (from beaches to the deepest trenches), and in the food chain from the most microscopic animals to the largest whales-- and us-- will be there forever in terms of humanity's sure-to-be brief presence on this planet. It is the true horizon of the Anthropocene.

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