Accumulations of plastic on Tanah Merah, seen in Oct 09
This does NOT include costs to wildlife, loss of tourism and lost capital development opportunities, like building a hotel or resort. It also does NOT include the clean-up bill.
The report, commissioned by the Marine Resource Conservation working group of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), used a Japanese economic model which estimates the damage caused by marine debris costs governments close to 0.3% of their GDP every year.
Some recommendations of the report
- That governments focus more on preventing rubbish entering our waterways, instead of trying to control it once it gets there.
- Recycling, especially of plastic "really needs attention and thought". A good strategy is to reimburse people who recycle plastic bottles.
- Building nets at the end of estuaries, where rivers or streams meet the ocean, to catch any debris before it makes its way into open water.
- 6.4 million tonnes of debris reaches the world's oceans each year.
- Of that 80% is thought to come from land based sources.
- Poor landfill practices are big contributors to marine debris, especially in Asia.
- The amount of marine debris in oceans is growing with the world's population.
More links to the marine debris situation in Singapore
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