Marine Plastic Pollution in South Asia
Marine plastic pollution has increasingly been a concerning issue around the globe as the initial impact of marine plastic pollution is gradually emerging. But, where does plastic originate? Inadequate and overwhelmed waste management systems, open dumping, storms, and rain cause land-based sources of pollution to leak into rivers, the coastal areas, and oceans. An estimated 80 percent of all plastic waste in the oceans comes from land-based activities, and the remaining 20 percent comes from marine activities. The extent of sea-based sources of pollution, including abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear and waste from ships and ports and its devastating impacts to ecosystems and marine species remains underexplored. The paper finds that the main driving forces behind the severe marine plastic pollution in the South Asia region are primarily due to poor practices of waste management systems and inefficient informal plastic recycling sector. The consequences of marine plastic pollution in South Asia has been enormous, leading to threats to wildlife, community health concerns, and economic losses due to the severity of plastic litter and associated clean-up cost.