Marine plastic pollution costs the world up to $2.5tn a year, researchers find

Marine plastic pollution costs the world up to $2.5tn a year, researchers find
Fonte: The Guardian

Scientists warn that social and economic price of plastic waste to global society has been underestimated
Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans costs society billions of dollars every year in damaged and lost resources, research has found.

Fisheries, aquaculture, recreational activities and global wellbeing are all negatively affected by plastic pollution, with an estimated 1-5% decline in the benefit humans derive from oceans. The resulting cost in such benefits, known as marine ecosystem value, is up to $2.5tn (£1.9tn) a year, according to a study published this week in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

Plastic waste is also believed to cost up to $33,000 per ton in reduced environmental value, the study found. An estimated 8m tons of plastic pollution enter the world’s oceans every year.

Dr Nicola Beaumont, an environmental economist at Plymouth Marine Laboratory, who led the study, said the investigation was the first of its kind to explore the social and economic impact of plastics in the sea.

“Our calculations are a first stab at ‘putting a price on plastic’. We know we have to do more research to refine, but we are convinced that already they are an underestimate of the real costs to global human society,” said Beaumont.

The estimates do not take into account the direct and indirect impacts on the tourism, transport and fisheries industries, or on human health, the authors warned.

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