Management and Preventive Measures

Prevention and Control

Marine plastic pollution shows that we cannot really throw anything away. Reducing, reusing and recycling are the best way to stem the tide of plastics into our oceans. Moss [149] suggested the following ways in preventing and controlling plastic waste.

Hold plastic producers accountable: Many countries hold producers of materials like paints and carpets responsible for recovering and recycling their product after it is used.

Boxes should be preferred: Laundry detergent and dish soap should be in boxes instead of plastic bottles as cardboard can be more easily recycled and made into more products than plastic.

Use reusable bottles and cups: Bottled water produces 1.5 million tons of plastic waste per year, and these bottles require 47 million gallons of oil to produce. By simply refilling a reusable bottle, plastics can be prevented from ending up in the ocean.

Reduce use ofplasticware: Use of silverware should be encouraged as use of plasticware will increase risk of plastic waste.

Management Procedures

There are various ways for management of plastic waste in the aquatic ecosystem. The following are not limited to be the only management procedures:

Public Awareness and Education

Both formal and informal education is urgently needed to raise the publics’ awareness of the negative impact of irresponsible waste disposal in general and plastic waste in particular. Education must also be used to forge a positive change in attitude to plastic waste management [17]. Education is also a very powerful tool to address the issue, especially if it is discussed in schools; youngsters not only can change habits with relative ease, but also be able to take their awareness into their families and the wider community, working as catalysts for change. Since land-based sources provide major imputes of plastic debris into the oceans, if a community becomes aware of the problem and obviously is willing to act upon it, it can actually make a significant difference. The power of education should not be underestimated, and it can be more effective than strict laws, such as the Suffolk county plastics law (in New York, US) that banned some retail food packaging and was unsuccessful in reducing beach and roadside litter [150].

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