“And here’s what she found:
“In 2010 there were 8 million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean globally,” she says. That’s plastic bottles, candy wrappers, laundry baskets, synthetic rope, and syringes. According to Jambeck’s calculations, that’s like putting five bags of plastic trash on every foot of coastline in the world.
Jambeck calls her calculation “an order of magnitude” estimate — not exact, but in the ballpark. (She and her team have also developed an app, called Marine Debris Tracker, that lets anybody report the ocean litter they spot, anywhere in the world.)
And how did all that plastic get to the sea?
“If you have waste that’s free in the environment, on the land mass that’s in close proximity to the ocean,” she explains, “it’s going to be blown or be washed into the ocean. It also could be washed into rivers and then flow from there.”
Americans generate a lot of plastic trash. But Jambeck found that fast-growing economies like China and Indonesia are bigger sources of ocean plastic. They don’t have as much recycling or as many managed landfills as the U.S. does. And they have long coastlines.”
Here are some other worthy listens/ watches:
“Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean
Plastic debris in the marine environment is widely documented, but the quantity of plastic entering the ocean from waste generated on land is unknown. By linking worldwide data on solid waste, population density, and economic status, we estimated the mass of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean. We calculate that 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT entering the ocean. Population size and the quality of waste management systems largely determine which countries contribute the greatest mass of uncaptured waste available to become plastic marine debris. Without waste management infrastructure improvements, the cumulative quantity of plastic waste available to enter the ocean from land is predicted to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025.