Ocean litter : What make the mess

Just 10 plastic products make up 75% of all ocean litter, study shows

Published: Saturday 12 June 2021

Plastic from packaged food and drink dominated the litter in the world’s oceans, according to a new study.

Merely 10 types of products, including plastic lids and fishing gear, accounted for three-quarters of the litter, claimed the study published in the Nature Sustainability journal. These widely used products degrade extremely slowly.

Single-use bags, plastic bottles, food containers and food wrappers were identified as the most widespread marine pollutants — comprising almost half the human-made waste — the researchers said after combining 12 million data points from 36 databases across the world.

The scientists argued that identifying key sources of ocean plastic can help policymakers to stop the stream of litter at its source. The highest concentration of litter was found on shorelines and sea floors near coasts.

Another study in the same journal, meanwhile, examined the litter entering the ocean from 42 rivers in Europe and named Turkey, Italy, and the United Kingdom as the three biggest contributors. 

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :
Related Stories
Related Blogs

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.