Marine Debris & Plastics: Environmental Concerns, Sources, Impacts and Solutions
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- Sheavly, S.B. & Register, K.M. J Polym Environ (2007) 15: 301. doi:10.1007/s10924-007-0074-3
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Marine debris (marine litter) is one of the most pervasive and solvable pollution problems plaguing the world’s oceans and waterways. Nets, food wrappers, cigarette filters, bottles, resin pellets, and other debris items can have serious impacts on wildlife, habitat, and human safety. Successful management of the problem requires a comprehensive understanding of both marine debris and human behavior. Knowledge is key for consumers to make appropriate choices when it comes to using and disposing of waste items. Education and outreach programs, strong laws and policies, and governmental and private enforcement are the building blocks for a successful marine pollution prevention initiative. The plastic industry also has a role to play in educating its employees and customers, and searching for technological mitigation strategies.