22.05.2018

Plastics in the Ocean: Final Workshop Report released by the British Antarctic Survey

With around eight million tonnes of plastic entering our oceans each year, recent estimates suggest that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. Its presence on shorelines, in surface waters and in the deep ocean, poses a significant threat to global marine ecosystems, even in the remote Polar Regions.

Marine sampling efforts, increasing media awareness through series like BBC Blue Planet II and scientific research on the damaging effects of plastics in the ocean have highlighted the extent of the problem, have led to direct action by governments and industry to restrict the use of specific plastic items such as microbeads, bags, cotton buds and straws, and have catalysed ambitious commitments in the UK and beyond to phase out the use of non-essential plastics (e.g. the UK and Vanuatu are leading the Commonwealth Clean Ocean Alliance). Much relevant research and progress is underway, but effectively addressing ocean plastic pollution requires a multi-disciplinary approach with engagement from a range of sectors. The aim of this event was to bring together representatives from business, non-governmental organisations (NGO), science and policy sectors to collectively explore solutions for reducing and mitigating ocean plastic pollution.

Through presentations, panel discussions and innovation showcases this workshop aimed to:
- Facilitate knowledge exchange in order to identify/highlight gaps and future actions required;
- Generate solutions-driven networking to identify opportunities for collaboration.

Read the full event report here.