Marine litter, despite actions taken nationally and internationally, is becoming increasingly worse according to reports.
It is estimated that 8 million items of marine litter enter our oceans and seas every day. As much as 5 million of this is either thrown or lost overboard from ships. Plastic is a large part of this and very dangerous to marine life. It is estimated that 13000 pieces of plastic litter every square kilometre of ocean surface.
In 2009, 498,818 volunteers picked up marine debris in 108 countries around the world. They removed marine litter from more than 21,000 kilometres of coastline and waterways collecting more than 6.2 million pieces of marine litter, weighing over 4,000 tonnes. Almost 58 per cent of the marine litter found could be attributed to shoreline and recreational activities, such as beach-picnicking and general littering. Many other such clean-up operations are carried out every year by thousands of school children, volunteers and local authorities in a large number of countries in all parts of the world.
Figures from the North Sea, as well as waters around Australia, estimates are that 70% of litter ends up on the ocean floor, while half of the rest ends up on beaches and the remaining half floating on the surface of our seas.
There are strong indications from worldwide authorities, that marine litter is increasing dramatically resulting in ever increasing environmental issues and in many cases becoming hazarded to shipping.
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