Ocean Action Hub

9 Oct 2020The 18th edition of UNEP’s Foresight Brief highlights the global concern on marine plastic litter pollution and calls for monitoring and assessment.

The Foresight Briefs are published by the United Nations Environment Programme to highlight a hotspot of environmental change, feature an emerging science topic, or discuss a contemporary environmental issue. The public is provided with the opportunity to find out what is happening to their changing environment and the consequences of everyday choices, and to think about future directions for policy.

Marine plastic litter pollution is a global concern that threatens seas and the ocean, biodiversity, human health and economic activities such as tourism, fisheries and marine navigation/transportation. Plastics represent approximately 80% of marine litter and result from both land and sea-based human activities. Combating marine litter requires knowledge of sources, pathways, sinks and impacts, which calls for worldwide harmonized monitoring and assessment programmes to guide measures and assess their effectiveness.

Marine litter is a common threat in our oceans. Plastics often form the major component of marine litter. Approximately 5.25 trillion plastic particles float on the ocean surface1, weighing about 269,000 tons, with concentrations of up to 64 millions particle per square kilometre in the Mediterranean Sea.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://wesr.unep.org/foresight

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Publication date: 
Publication Organisation: 
UN Environment
Thematic Area: 
Marine pollution