Between plastic bags, bottles, food containers and packaging, plastic is the ocean’s greatest polluter. According to the European Commission, almost half of the litter found at sea consists of disposable plastic. Disposable plastics make up 49% of marine waste, whilst 27% pertains to plastic residue from fishing equipment.
Disposable plastic products are the largest group of waste found on seashores. Products such as plastic cutlery, drink bottles, cigarette ends, or cotton buds represent almost half of all marine waste.
The features that give plastic such convenience for use (resistant and durable material) are the same ones that have such a pernicious effect on the environment (not easily biodegradable). According to the UN, if the current trend continues, the amount of plastic in the oceans could be larger than the number of fish, in just 25 years.
The excessive existence of plastic products derives from:
- The irresponsible production of disposable plastic items.
- The inadequate consumption on the part of consumers.
- Failure in recycling systems.
Currently, there are more than 150 million tons of plastic in the oceans. According to the European Parliament’s Research Service, it is estimated that between 4.8 to 12.7 million tons of plastic enter our oceans every year.
Source: European Parliament, Deutsche Welle (DW) + eCycle.