- According to a new study, 4 million to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste is thrown into oceans around the world every year.
- The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara conducted the study, focusing on marine debris.
- Researchers behind the project predict that the volume of plastics found in oceans will double by 2025.
Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia, also contributed her findings to the study. Researchers created an infographic depicting the origin of the waste, showing each country's contribution. They concluded that China and Indonesia are high on the list of plastic waste offenders—ranking first and second place, respectively. And while the U.S. fared better, coming in 20th place, the country still contributed a hefty 110,000 metric tons of waste.
The study indicated that of the almost 200 countries surveyed, some were without a formal waste management system, presenting a challenge in addressing the issue. The rapid expansion of cities due to population growth has outpaced the environmental efforts some countries have in place, such as expanding waste programs.