Extent Of Marine Litter
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.