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A Geography of Marine Plastics

Jeffrey Black, Dakota Holmes, Liam Carr

Abstract


Marine plastics have gained infamy as one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time. Their lightweight and durable properties, and low cost of production have made them an attractive material for packaging and shipping. This production-side preference for cheap plastic products and packaging, coupled with consumption preferences for pre-packaged, single-use goods that ultimately overwhelm increasingly costly waste management efforts, has resulted in a persistent, ubiquitous presence of plastic materials globally. Grounded in an extensive review of the literature, this paper reviews the geography of marine plastics research, and the pervasive and persistent effects of plastic on the marine system to aid the discussions of comprehensive mitigation measures. The discussion points raised in this paper highlight the need for a global systems perspective that considers geography, environmental impacts, and sources in order to develop effective mitigation responses to marine litter.

 

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2014/igj.v53i1.1411

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:irg:ie:0000-igj.v53i1.14111

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:irg:ie:0000-igj.v53i1.1411.g11560

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