Addressing the challenge of Marine Plastic Litter using Circular Economy methods
28. June 2019
Plastics are versatile materials, being inexpensive, light, easily shaped and durable and have brought immeasurable benefits to many areas of life. However, as of 2015, approximately 6,300 Mt stock of plastic waste had been generated. Around 9% of this had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment; a huge loss in economic terms and alarming with respect to potential harm that this could mean to humans, animals and plants and our ecosystems. The problem of marine plastic litter can be addressed inter alia through implementing circular economy practices. This, in conjunction with optimizing landfill management, will help to substantially reduce the amount of those plastics most likely to end up as marine plastic litter. Circular economy measures can be applied for production and use in a plastic item's first life as well as in its subsequent lives and final disposal.