Environment

Plastic from tyres driving level of ocean pollution up

Marine debris that was washed ashore covers a beach on Laysan Island in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. (Susan White/USFWS)

Marine debris that was washed ashore covers a beach on Laysan Island in the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge. Image: Susan White/USFWS

A new study says plastic particles washed off products such as synthetic clothes and car tyres could contribute up to 30% of the ‘plastic soup’ polluting the world’s oceans.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says in many developed countries these particles are a bigger source of marine plastic pollution than plastic waste.

The Union says greater action is needed to protect the environment.

IUCN Director General Inger Anderse says:

This report is a real eye-opener, showing that plastic waste is not all there is to ocean plastics…our daily activities, such as washing clothes and driving, significantly contribute to the pollution choking our oceans, with potentially disastrous effects on the rich diversity of life within them.

The study says primary microplastics are a globally significant source of all plastics in the oceans.

The Union says to close the plastic tap there should be better waste management in some regions along with reducing the lifecycle of some products.

The study analyses increased global consumption of fibres over the last two decades.

Consumer consumption of synthetic fibres has increased by 300%.

Download the full report from the IUCN here

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