Current estimates show that there are 8 million tons of plastic being deposited into the oceans each year (Jambeck et al. 2015), accounting for 80% of all marine debris. This, however, may be an
underestimate. Ocean plastics have quickly become the most visible and widely known ocean health issue. It has been featured in policy agendas nationally and internationally. It has also brought needed attention to the wider problem of “land-based marine pollution” – pollution of the ocean from waste that is generated on land, although ocean plastics are also partly caused by waste from fishing vessels. Presently, ocean plastics is by far the biggest component of marine litter and pose a variety of threats to marine life thereby impacting the benefits that humans derive from thriving marine ecosystems.
What you’ll learn
The causes of plastic pollution and why it is a cause for concern.
- Current and future initiatives to mitigate plastic pollution and how to be a part of the solution to marine plastics.
- Ways to address current pollution and champion prevention of future plastic pollution.
NOTE that you need not complete the entire learning pathway in one lesson.
NOTE It is up to the learner to measure their progress against the learning outcomes indicated below. There will be no facilitated assessments of the same.
By the end of this course you should be able to do the following :
- Explain the plastic life cycle and ocean plastics as part of the wider issue.
- Describe what solutions work and what are false solutions to addressing ocean plastics.
- Identify current international solutions to ocean plastics and what are in pipeline.
Module 1 MODULE 1: INTRODUCTION - UNDERSTANDING MARINE PLASTICS?
This module introduces you to the concept of the Plastic life cycle and the issue of Marine plastics.
Module 2 MODULE 2: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO ACT IMMEDIATELY ON MARINE PLASTICS?
Marine Plastics is an increasing concern. This module introduces the learner to why there is an urgent need to focus on this issue
Module 3 MODULE 3: WHAT ARE THE CURRENT TREATIES AND PROCESSES TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE
Module 4 MODULE 4: FURTHER READING
Extra reading on Marine plasticsStart Learning Pathway