Litter in the ocean
Do you have an idea how much litter is floating around in the world´s oceans? The National Academy of Sciences in the USA estimated in 1997 that around 6,4 million tonnes of litter enter the world´s ocean every year. A terrible high figure. In a new paper published 2015, a team led by Jenna Jambeck, who researches waste management at the University of Georgia in Athens, estimated how much waste coastal countries and territories generate, and how much of that could be plastic that ends up in the ocean. The group reached a figure of 4.8 million to 12.7 million tonnes every year — very roughly equivalent to 500 billion plastic drinks bottles.
My pictures taken in the Kingston Harbour Bay after only one heavy rain shows a line of floating bottles - you get an impression you could walk from the boat to the shore.
Do you have an idea how long mother nature needs to degrade a plastic bottle? Roughly 450 years. A plastic bag around 40 years. And fishing lines will float for 600 years.
One thing is for sure and that is that the littering of the seas will only stop if the entry of waste from land-based sources can be controlled. What we need here in Kingston and in Jamaica is an effective waste avoidance and management plan.
Pictures of garbage in the bay after heavy rainfall in Kingston. Position: Kingston Harbour Bay