CAMEC 2022
CESARO MAC IMPORT
Plastic and pollution of the sea

Plastic and pollution of the sea

Plastic waste forms 80 % of the enormous waste patches in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, which cause sea species to suffer from entanglement or ingestion.

Within a little more than one century plastic has become indispensable in modern engineering and construction for mass production of consumer goods. In only 50 years, world-wide plastic production has increased from 1.5 million tonnes per year in 1950 to 245 million tonnes in 2008, a trend that is expected to continue. The marine environment is particularly vulnerable to plastic waste. Plastic waste forms 80 % of the enormous waste patches in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, which cause sea species to suffer from entanglement or ingestion. The presence of plastic residues, even in the most remote areas of world seas and shores shows that there is a price to pay for the excess of plastic waste. Conventional plastic also contains a large number, and sometimes a large proportion of chemical additives which can be carcinogenic, provoke other toxic reactions or act as endocrine disruptors.

Some strategic elements to tackle plastic waste in the environment already exist in present waste legislation. The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) focuses on elements such as life cycle thinking, waste prevention over waste operations, extended producer responsibility, product design, resource efficiency and resource conservation. Moreover, the 2011 Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe and the 7th Environmental Action Plan, proposed by the Commission in 2012 and currently examined by the European Parliament and the Council, develop the reflection further to consider an EU-wide quantitative reduction target for marine litter.

 


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