Tackling Marine Debris
Navigating the Complex Landscape of Global Solid Waste
Pyxera Global – Solvable Problems
By Helen Lowman
President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful
The scourge of marine debris, solid waste that flows into the world’s waters and accumulates on the shorelines of waterways, has been in the public consciousness for decades. The issue is gaining renewed prominence, however, because of heightened concern about how plastics, including microbeads and microfibers, are affecting the health of our oceans, aquatic life, and ultimately humans as they travel up the food chain.
Recent studies have identified that even the most remote and pristine corners of the earth, including the European Arctic, are now home to surprising amounts of plastic and other waste. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy report predicts that if current trends of plastic production continue unabated, the ocean could contain more plastic than fish, by weight, by 2050.