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Oceans have been hit by an ‘unprecedented’ plastic tsunami since 2005



The oceans have suffered an “unprecedented” tsunami of plastic since 2005, according to a report calling for an end to negotiations for an international agreement to tackle the problem.

Plastic pollution is a persistent problem on all levels and across the planet. Marine animals swallow sacks or remain trapped in sacks, waste littering beaches in even the most remote natural spaces, and microplastics making their way back to humans through the food chain.

The report, published on PLOS One’s site, estimates that there are about 170 trillion pieces of plastic debris floating in the ocean, most of which are microplastics.

Most of these pieces have been discarded over the last 18 years.

“Plastic pollution has reached unprecedented levels,” warns the authors.

This figure is significantly higher than previous estimates, and the study highlights that landfills are expected to accelerate over the next few decades if current rates are maintained.

Researchers collected samples at over 11,000 monitoring stations around the world, collecting data over a 40-year period from 1979 to 2019.

Until 1990 there was no clear trend in the concentration of these plastics, and by 2005 the trend was fluctuating. Since that year, the level has skyrocketed.

One of the authors, Lisa Ardle, told AFP, “Since 2005, production has increased rapidly, while policies to control ocean dumping of plastic have been limited. an increase is seen.

There are many sources of plastic pollution in the ocean. Fishing nets and buoys usually appear in the middle of the ocean, while bags, clothing, or car tires can be found on the shore.

Like “confetti on the surface of the sea,” in the words of Lisa Ardle, all that debris eventually turns into microplastics.

“Toxic Product”

G20 countries are expected to double their plastic use to 451 million tons by 2050, according to a report jointly produced by The Economist Impact and The Nippon Foundation.

In 1950, only 2 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide.

Recycling has made little impact so far, even in the most developed countries.

Without proper management, plastic deposited in landfills can end up in the ocean.

“We need more recycling. We’re seeing toxic products and packaging in real life,” Erdle explained.

Between 1990 and 2005, international efforts were made to partially mitigate the problem, such as the 1988 MARPOL Convention, signed by 154 countries to ban the dumping of plastics from ships. rice field.

But increased production is beyond those legal frameworks, the study warns, advocating a new international treaty.

In December, more than 160 countries gathered in Uruguay under the protection of the United Nations to begin negotiations on this global pact against marine plastic pollution, but the second round must now be held in France.

Key points of the agreement are a ban on single-use plastics, a system of fines for pollutants and a tax on producers.

According to the PLOS study, the total weight of plastic pollution detected so far is 2.3 million tons.

The text analyzed data from the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Mediterranean oceans.

Source: Diario.Elmundo

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