An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic flow into the oceans every year. The detrimental impact of this on the industries and the citizens who rely upon them for their livelihoods is huge.
Plastic continues to fill the world’s oceans at an astonishing rate, inflicting major environmental damage. The cost is not merely to the natural world though, as the economic impact of this man-made predicament is also immense.
We’ve finally reached that point – the one at which we can no longer bury our heads in the proverbial sand. The magnitude of the plastic problem facing our oceans has reached such a level that even the most indifferent can no longer ignore it. Consequently, over the past year or so, we have been seeing the issue in the news more and more. The public is now aware, and this awareness continues to grow.
It’s driven in part by the mounting scientific evidence that is surfacing, in addition to the growing number of related incidents proliferating around the globe. “We’ve had stories like huge dumps of litter on the beaches of Bali, which is familiar to many of us in the West. We’ve seen large [swathes] of waste appearing, seemingly spontaneously, off the Caribbean coast and Latin America. There’s even been fatalities or disasters associated with plastic waste; in Sri Lanka, for example,” said Dr Malcolm Hudson, Associate Professor in Environmental Sciences at Southampton University.