plastic duck and net on beach

Cooperation to tackle plastic pollution

 

PML researchers will be contributing to a new research project aiming to inspire international action to tackle marine plastic pollution.

‘The Economics of Marine Plastic Pollution: What are the Benefits of International Cooperation?’ project will calculate the economic costs of the environmental damages associated with marine plastic and the benefits of cross-country coordinated action to address the problem.

Dr James Clark, a marine ecosystem modeller at PML and one of the researchers involved in the new project said:

“The problem of marine plastic debris has received a large amount of attention in recent years. However, there is a significant amount of uncertainty regarding how it should be addressed. In this exciting and highly interdisciplinary project, involving economists, social and marine scientists, we will examine the benefits of international cooperation to reduce marine plastic pollution. We hope that our results will help inform the development of improved international agreements that effectively combat the problem.”

The three year study, which involves academics from the University of Stirling, University of Glasgow, Plymouth Marine Laboratory and Clark University in America, will focus on collecting data from eight countries bordering the North Atlantic Ocean.

Researchers will seek to map the spatial distribution and movement of marine plastic; calculate the costs of reducing both the stock and flows of plastic in and into the marine environment; develop a framework to determine the economic benefits of different levels of international cooperation in reducing plastic waste; and identify incentives that might encourage a joined-up approach.

PML's work within the project will mainly focus on how plastic waste travels across the North Atlantic and what environmental impacts these plastics cause, particularly in relation to marine biodiversity. Dr Clark will be running simulations to evaluate the flux of plastic between countries on either side of the Atlantic, whilst environmental economist Dr Nicola Beaumont looks at quantifying the marine biodiversity impacts.
 

Other recent news articles

News

New research shows stricter regulation is needed on the fate of legacy, toxic antifouling treatments

Recently published research provides clear evidence of the negative effect antifouling paint particles can have on marine organisms that live in or on the seabed.

News

Mystery over decline in sea turtle sightings

The number of sea turtles spotted along the coasts of the UK and Ireland has declined in recent years, researchers say .

News

The grand finale to the expedition of a century

‚Äč After 389 days, the largest Arctic research expedition of all time comes to a successful end in Bremerhaven