Marine litter - a consequence of human overpopulation

Extent Of Marine Litter

As a direct consequence of human overpopulation, approximately 8 million tonnes of man-made litter enters the earth’s oceans each year. Marine litter is currently responsible for the death of over 1 million seabirds every year, along with over 100,000 turtles and marine mammals, including whales, dolphins and seals. Plastics account for around 80% of all man-made waste found at sea. Across our entire planet, every square kilometre of ocean has, on average, around 18,000 pieces of plastic floating on, or close to, the surface.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, a London-based social and environmental think tank, estimates that, with no change to policy, current production or waste management practices, the amount of plastic litter entering the ocean each year will triple in the next two decades. That’s almost 30 million metric tonnes of marine litter by 2040.

Marine litter - a consequence of human overpopulation
Marine litter - a consequence of human overpopulation

Got something to say about this? Join the discussion now!
Remember, you need to be registered to take part.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #13434
      Chris Lewer

      Approximately 8 million tonnes of man-made litter enters the earth’s oceans each year, causing the death of over 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 turtles and marine mammals annually.

      What can we, as individuals, do to prevent or relieve this?

    • #13464

      I think we are way past the point where individuals can do anything to reduce the marine litter problem, or even prevent it from getting worse. It will only become less of a problem if governments take responsibility and legislate better on plastics and waste management. But to do that, they need to put the environment before profits.

      • #13466
        Planet Watcher

        Yes, you’re right. But legislation will only address the problem and not the cause… which is too many people producing too much waste.

      • #13479

        For governments to take responsibility, we need responsible governments. But that will only happen if people are smart enough to vote them into office. And people need to make it clear that they want overpopulation on the agenda, so that it is openly discussed.

    • #13468
      Ocean Lover

      Slowing population growth will certainly help to relieve some pressure on the oceans until we have developed better ways to both manage waste and clean up the waste that is already at sea.

      • #13471

        Sure, it’s not a quick fix. None of the earth’s environmental problems are a quick fix.  But yes, we need to address the cause as well as engineer ways to repair the damage. If reducing the number of people on the planet deals with the cause, then governments need to be talking about that.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Please LOGIN to take part in this discussion.

© 2024 Friends of Retha · All Rights reserved · Another unique website designed, built and hosted by Clarity Digital

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account