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Marine Debris as a Global Environmental Problem

Publication Date: November 2011

Authors: Richard C. Thompson, Bruce E. La Belle, Hindrik Bouwman and Lev 

Introducing a solutions based framework focused on plastic.

Being confronted by the sight of debris littering the shores of 
otherwise beautiful and pristine isolated oceanic islands pushes home 
the cold realization that this world is both immensely rich in 
diversity, scenery, and sounds, as well as small when the visible 
products of mankind’s industry are present far from their source, having 
travelled great distances on ocean currents. The worlds’ oceans are 
vast, immensely powerful, but highly sensitive all at the same time. 
Having to cope with increasing uses from a variety of sources such as 
extractive industries, together with climate change, acidification, 
hypoxia, and chemical pollution, increasingly our oceans and seas are 
also absorbing an ever increasing volume of marine debris. The 
conflagration of threats and pressures are increasingly depleting the 
capacity of the world’s oceans to absorb it all. Understanding that 
marine environments are responsible for many crucial global ecological 
services, together with other threats the presence of marine debris in 
the ocean is therefore a grave cause for concern. Given that individual 
materials found in marine debris may remain largely unchanged for 
hundreds of years, combined with the ever increasing production and use 
of such objects, it becomes increasingly obvious that continuing with 
present patterns of consumption and management of these materials and 
processes that produce them is unsustainable and needs urgent intervention.

Download Publication: Marine Debris.pdf

Marine Debris as a Global Environmental Problem

29. Dezember 2013