A new report has identified the origins of the world's plastic marine debris and how it leaks into the oceans.
The US-based McKinsey Center for Business and Environment recently collaborated on a report with the Ocean Conservancy called ‘Stemming the tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic-free ocean'.
The research found that more than 80% of ocean plastic came from land-based sources, rather than from perceived sources such as fisheries and fishing vessels. From that 80%, three-quarters came from uncollected waste.
The highlighted six recommendations to help decrease marine litter entering our oceans:
- Obtaining real and meaningful commitments from national governments, governors, and mayors to set and achieve ambitious waste-management targets
- Providing local “proofs of concept” for integrated waste-management approaches in a number of carefully selected pilot cities
- Building a best-practice transfer mechanism of global expertise to high-priority cities
- Ensuring required project-investment conditions are in place
- Facilitating technology implementation by equipping technology providers with detailed data
- Bringing leadership and a strategic focus on solutions as part of the global policy agenda on the ocean
The report said: “While well intentioned, existing efforts to address the leakage of plastic waste into the ocean and other waterways are not being undertaken at scale or with the level of strategic interconnectedness required to meet the scope of the challenge.”