The circular economy solution to marine plastic litter Can design and re-design help end the scourge of plastics in our oceans? Marine plastic pollution, commonly referred to as marine plastic litter, is a major global environmental problem. Marine plastic litter harms marine species through ingestion and entanglement, violates the integrity of ecosystems, inhibits growth of marine plants, accumulates and transports pathogens that may cause disease and injuries to marine animals, plants and humans, and partly ends up in the food chain. Moreover, it causes economic losses due to reduced fishery yields, declining amenity for tourism, and damage to shipping and related infrastructure. Some of the plastic in the oceans comes from fisheries, aquaculture,
nautical activities and illegal dumping in the sea, but around 80% of the total comes from the land. Land-based plastic pollution is caused primarily by inappropriate management of waste of plastic packaging and short-lived products originating from various consumer products in numerous sectors. These consist for example of plastic bags; single and multilayer food and beverage containers; cleaning and personal care product containers; food wrapping and trays; plastic foil; singleuse cutlery; cups; synthetic textiles and clothing; plastic footwear; and so on. Wind and rain carry this litter into streams and rivers, and then into the oceans.
Innovate. Connect. Transform our future. How inclusive and sustainable industrial development will contribute to the 2030 Agenda