8.8 Million Tons of Plastic Waste Dumped Into the Sea Every Year

Bogor, March 5, 2015

Each year around 8.8 million tons of plastic end up in the seas around the world. That number is a number that is much larger than previous estimates. It was revealed from a new study tracing garbage in the ocean from the source.

Head of research, Jenna Jambeck, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia said that "that amount equivalent to five shopping bags full of plastic waste covering every 30 centimeters of coastlines around the world".

If the largest contributor, the majority of developing countries in Asia not cope with the garbage disposal, Jambeck estimates that in 2025 the accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans will reach about 170 million tons. It was based on population trends and the continuing problem of waste management, although there are some early signs of change, she said.

More than half of plastic waste that flows into the sea come from five countries: China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka, followed by Thailand, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria and Bangladesh.

Western industrial countries that are in the 20 largest waste contributor of plastic is the United States with the rank 20. US and Europe do not make mistakes in managing collective garbage. So, plastic waste coming from these countries is due to littering, said the researchers.

While China is responsible for 2.4 million tons of plastic are up in the ocean, or nearly 28 percent of the total, the US contributed approximately 77,000 tons, or less than 1 percent, according to research published Thursday (12/2) in the journal Science. That's because developed countries have a system to trap and collect plastic waste, said Jambeck.

Estimated the amount of plastic until arrive in the waters equivalent of the amount of tuna fished per year. So, "we took the tuna and discard plastic," said one of the other researchers Kara Lavendar Law in a press conference on Advanced Science Association of America conference.

Jambeck using World Bank statistics on the flow of waste from 192 countries to track and estimate the plastic pollution from the source. Jambeck estimates are for 2010 and ranged between 5 and 14 million tons of plastic, with 8.8 million tonnes in the forecast average scenario.

The previous estimate is less than 1 million tons, but it is based on a sample. Scientists know a lot that can be hidden on the ocean floor and in places not reached the researchers.


Source: voaindonesia.com (130215)