October 17, 2017
Plastics Policy Playbook: Strategies for a Plastic-Free Ocean
Publishers: Ocean Conservancy, Trash Free Seas Alliance
Ocean plastic is an urgent, global challenge. If we fail to act, over 250 million tons of plastic will be circulating our ocean by 2025, with widespread environmental, social and economic implications. The quantity of plastic in the ocean is a symptom of a larger issue that is tied to our linear economic system to take, make and waste. We produce more than 350 million tons of plastic each year, and while many of these plastics offer meaningful benefits to society, an estimated 40% of plastic is used just once and discarded. Without action, the global production of plastic is expected to double in the next ten years. This level of production and consumption has resulted in solid waste management systems that are unable to effectively collect, recycle and dispose of the growing quantity of plastic. Its presence in the ocean is the result. The legacy of ocean plastic will likely exist for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, and its long-term impact on our planet remains uncertain. What is certain, however, is that the more plastic that ends up in the ocean, the greater the negative impacts will be. The time to act is now.