Plastic has found its way into the furthest reaches of our oceans | WWF
Plastic has found its way into the furthest reaches of our oceans

Posted on 09 September 2020

Interactive world map shows plastic pollution in the oceans.
Plastic pollution in our oceans is one of the biggest environmental problems of our time. Today, WWF presented an interactive map that makes the problem visible from a distance. The Global Plastic Navigator world map shows which countries have a particularly high amount of plastic waste entering the environment, which rivers transport the most plastic waste into the oceans and how widespread plastic is on the surfaces of the oceans. The interactive map is available free of charge at plasticnavigator.wwf.de. Bernhard Bauske, project coordinator for plastic waste at WWF Germany commented: “The map visualises the latest scientific data, so that the plastic deluge is intelligible to the naked eye – ranging from the global view of the world’s oceans to local discharge of plastic on the surface of individual rivers. The result is shocking: plastic has found its way into the furthest reaches of our oceans.”
 
To stop the flood of plastic, WWF is calling for an international agreement to end the discharge of plastic waste into the oceans. The Global Plastic Navigator shows which countries support this kind of agreement, including the member states of the EU and the African Union. Bauske also said: “Thanks to the map, we can see that support for an international agreement to end the discharge of plastic waste into the oceans is already quite strong. The interactive map enables everyone to see whether their government is committed to this framework to combat marine plastic. This will also increase the pressure on nations that are still hesitant about the agreement.
 
Background: stop the flood of plastic!

The vast quantities of plastic in the oceans is a global problem that can only be solved through international cooperation. WWF is therefore campaigning for an international agreement to make waste reduction and improved waste management a legal requirement worldwide. As a result of this agreement, waste management would improve in many countries – with all the positive impacts for people, the environment and human health.
 
Vietnam produced over 31 million tons of household wastes and nearly 5 million tons of plastic wastes1 just in 2018. Only a very small part of them was properly shorted and recycled, leaving 60-70% of wastes collected and dumped openly, or in inappropriate landfills1. With about 0.28 – 0.73 million tons of plastic waste discharged directly into the oceans, Vietnam has been listed the 4th in the list of top-countries contributing to the world’s unmanaged plastic waste entering the oceans2

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(1): The World Bank, 2018
(2): Jambeck et al, 2015


 
Display of the Global Plastic Navigator world map on website
© WWF
Photo taken in 2019 at a port in Phu Quoc, where local fishing boats often dock. This is also the river mouth where the river runs through a wet market before meeting the sea, which makes it a plastic pollution hotspot.
© WWF-Viet Nam / Duong Quoc Binh