Plastic Pollution in the Oceans: A Systemic Analysis—Status Quo and Possible Sustainable Solutions



In a constant interconnected, integrated, dynamic, multilayered and open social, cultural, economic and political landscape, a renewed approach is necessary to properly face the uncertainties and the questions put forward by the actual level of plastic pollution of the oceans of our planet. Coming to recognize the causes and their impact on marine and human life and how it is possible to influence them lies at the core of the complexity when tackling this large worldwide phenomenon. Involving people from different sectors of society and background in an open discussion about the different nuances and practicalities which characterize the complexity of the problem is what several national and international bodies are trying to implement nowadays. However, the lack of interactions and coordination between the various political, industrial and financial players as well as society at large must be overcome. This chapter will highlight the status quo of the plastics problem and existing and emerging circular solutions that try to tackle this issue. It will show that a systemic perspective is needed to effectively address the problem. And that implementing paradigm changes, raising awareness, and putting in place integrated environmental legislation and financing is of paramount importance. The chapter underlines that the time to find a remedy as well as technological and sustainable solutions is short, while the problem in terms of economic impact and environmental consequences is huge.


Plastic pollution Systemic analysis Complex systems Circular models Global awareness Social actions 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Laboratory on Corporate Social Responsibility, Department of EconomicsUniversity of ParmaParmaItaly
  2. 2.ETHICALFIN Ltd.LondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Social and Political ScienceUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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