Asia countries main cause of plastic ocean waste

02.11.2015 07:38
Kategorie: News

Five countries responsible for 60 percent of plastic waste in oceans

Plastic debris from the sea, © Kanyarat Kosavisutte Green Fins Association, Marine Photobank
Plastic debris from the sea, © Kanyarat Kosavisutte,
Green Fins Association, Marine Photobank

About eight million tons of plastic trash enter the world’s oceans every year. According to a new study entitled Stemming the Tide, up to 60 percent of this originate mainly from five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Stemming the Tide", published on September 30th by Ocean Conservancy in collaboration with McKinsey, highlights a link between the economic growth of these emerging economies and the increase in the use and production of plastic and plastic-intensive products. The situation is exasperated by the fact that these countries do not have the proper waste management and disposal facilities in place yet.

If nothing is done to improve the situation, the study predicts that plastic consumption in Asia will increase by 80 percent to over 200 million tons by 2025. That would mean that for every three tons of finfish, there would be one ton of plastic waste in the ocean.

Hence, it suggests that efforts to clean up the world’s plastic ocean waste should focus in the Asian region. Doing this would enable the global plastic waste to be reduced by about 45 percent in the next decade.

The study highlights some measures that can reduce the amount of waste in the five countries: collection of plastic waste, waste separation, closing leaks in the collection facilities, gasification (conversion to fuel), incineration and recycling.

The report sums up the situation by stating: "With a focus on where quick action would have the greatest impact, this report suggests that coordinated action in just these five countries could significantly reduce the global leakage of plastic waste into the ocean by 2025. Specifically, interventions in these five countries could reduce global plastic waste leakage by approximately 45 percent over the next ten years. Of course, extending these interventions to other countries could have even more impact on this global issue."

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