Giving Compass' Take:

• Prachi Seth explores how to address the ocean plastic pollution issue through different policy models.

• Are there models that Seth explains that are replicable in your city? What role can you play in addressing ocean pollution? 

•  Here are 10 facts about plastic pollution you absolutely need to know.

Over 8 billion kilograms of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year. Marine plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental concerns facing the world today. Asia, in particular, has been detrimental to the oceans, with 5 countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – generating ~60% of this marine plastic waste leakage.

This trend is not surprising. These Asian countries are grappling with a huge appetites for plastic in industrial and consumer applications. At the same time, proper waste management infrastructure is not being developed as quickly to mitigate waste. Without a strong network of stakeholders, proper awareness building, knowledge dissemination and disciplined enforcement of policies and strategies, it is no wonder that most ocean plastic waste come from land-based sources such as beach litter and sewage.

Marine plastic pollution – a systemic, ecosystem-wide problem. The impact of marine plastic pollution goes far beyond what we see floating on the surface of the oceans. The severity of this issue hits closer to home when research also shows that more than 80% of global drinking tap water samples are tested positive for plastic content.

Build ecosystem-wide infrastructure support

-Improve downstream communication systems

While national policies, strategies, programs and projects are in place, there is a lack of coordination and knowledge capacity among institutions and stakeholders downstream. With such inconsistencies, it is, therefore, rare to see large waste management companies investing on a regional level.

Adopt sustainable business models and sustainability strategies

-Integrate informal waste management markets into business value chains

Collecting and buying recyclable waste has historically been managed by informal waste pickers for many decades. As such, it has been a deterrent for big recycling businesses to navigate through the informal waste management system.

Read the full article about tackling marine plastic pollution by Prachi Seth at AVPN.