Ocean plastic could triple within a decade: report

Updated 2018-03-22 13:57:01 Xinhua

The amount of plastic in the world's oceans is expected to triple within a decade without tough measures to curb littering, a new British government report has warned.

The "Foresight Future of the Sea" report from the Government for Science, published on Wednesday, found that 70 percent of all litter in the ocean is non-degradable plastic, which is set to triple between 2015 and 2025.

The report noted that there is growing evidence of plastic harming sea creatures, as entanglement in or ingestion of plastics can cause injury and death to a wide range of marine organisms. It can also pollute beaches.

The government report suggested preventing plastics from entering the sea, introducing biodegradable plastics, and boosting public awareness on marine protection to tackle the issue of growing ocean plastics.

Besides plastic in the ocean, the report identified sea level rise, ocean warming and chemical pollution as main long-term problems that marine environment faces.

The report also urged Britain, "a leading maritime nation" as it puts, to seize opportunities to cash in on the "ocean economy", predicting it to double to 3 trillion U.S. dollars by 2030. The GDP of Britain in 2017 was 2.565 trillion dollars, according to the International Monetary Fund.

"Both the opportunities and the challenges set out in this important report are global in scale and demand our urgent attention," Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Tariq Ahmad said in a statement released with the report.

"We must keep pushing our scientific understanding of the oceans, harness new technologies, and support commercial innovation. Most of all, we must ensure that governments keep pace with this changing environment," Ahmad said, noting that international collaboration remains "crucial."

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