Following a roundtable discussion hosted by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) together with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), a report has been published on an industry-level response to marine plastic pollution. The discussion looked to gauge a wider industry perspective into the challenges, management practices and attitudes of stakeholders across the marine industry.
The report is now available to download and gives an overview of the discussion and recommendations directly from industry on how the IMarEST can support education efforts targeted across marine sectors.
Marine activities, although proportionately lower contributors than other industries, do contribute to marine plastic litter and an estimated 5.2 trillion pieces of plastics are circulating in the oceans. By making their way into marine life, plastics are responsible for the deaths of over 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals yearly, amongst a tidal wave of other environmental issues. The report seeks to investigate how the marine industry can reduce its environmental footprint when it comes to ocean plastics.
Given the plethora of environmental risks and consequences for marine services, the report suggests that a robust review of common practices and of the infrastructure to support proper disposal and management of plastics is required – one that considers the needs of different marine sectors and the drivers for plastic generation in order to identify new solutions.