Waste and Marine Litter
Waste and litter are a significant issue, impacting ecosystems, economies and societies.
Marine litter, including plastics and microplastics, is accumulating in the world’s oceans at an unprecedented rate. The volume of plastics currently in the oceans has been estimated at between 75 million and 199 million tons. Found in sea floor sediments and on beaches, among many other locations globally, plastics are are becoming part of the Earth’s fossil record. Plastic pollution is one of the characteristics of the present geological era, the Anthropocene. A new marine microbial habitat has been designated the “plastisphere”.
This publication aims to provide a global assessment of marine litter and plastic pollution. The key findings include: