Marine Debris as a Global Environmental Problem

Introducing a solutions based framework focused on plastic. Being confronted by the sight of debris littering the shores of otherwise beautiful and pristine isolated oceanic islands pushes home the cold realization that this world is both immensely rich in diversity, scenery, and sounds, as well as small when the visible products of mankind’s industry are present far from their source, having travelled great distances on ocean currents. The worlds’ oceans are vast, immensely powerful, but highly sensitive all at the same time. Having to cope with increasing uses from a variety of sources such as extractive industries, together with climate change, acidification, hypoxia, and chemical pollution, increasingly our oceans and seas are also absorbing an ever increasing volume of marine debris. The conflagration of threats and pressures are increasingly depleting the capacity of the world’s oceans to absorb it all. Understanding that marine environments are responsible for many crucial global ecological services, together with other threats the presence of marine debris in the ocean is therefore a grave cause for concern. Given that individual materials found in marine debris may remain largely unchanged for hundreds of years, combined with the ever increasing production and use of such objects, it becomes increasingly obvious that continuing with present patterns of consumption and management of these materials and processes that produce them is unsustainable and needs urgent intervention. Publication Date: November 2011 Authors: Richard C. Thompson, Bruce E. La Belle, Hindrik Bouwman and Lev Neretin DOWNLOAD

November, 2011
Richard C. Thompson, Bruce E. La Belle, Hindrik Bouwman and Lev Neretin