Nariman Mesharrafa on Unsplash
The report by researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) reveals a serious and rapidly worsening situation that demands immediate and concerted international action:
- Today almost every species group in the ocean has encountered plastic pollution, with scientists observing negative effects in almost 90% of assessed species.
- Not only has plastic pollution entered the marine food web, it is significantly affecting the productivity of some of the world’s most important marine ecosystems like coral reefs and mangroves.
- Several key global regions – including the Mediterranean, the East China and Yellow Seas and Arctic sea ice – have already exceeded plastic pollution thresholds beyond which significant ecological risks can occur, and several more regions are expected to follow suit in the coming years.
- If all plastic pollution inputs stopped today, marine microplastic levels would still more than double by 2050 – and some scenarios project a 50-fold increase by 2100.
Read the full report here