Citizen's Guide to Plastics in the Ocean: More Than a Litter Problem (Fourth Edition)



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Center for Marine Conservation


This guide is intended to inform you - the concerned citizen, educator, researcher, or policy maker - of the origins and impacts of marine debris, provide detailed information on what is being done to combat the problem, and suggest ways individuals and organizations can help. Our goal is to explain why plastic debris poses a particular threat in the ocean, and what citizens can do to reduce this threat. The future of the ocean and its resources rests with an informed public. Chapter I introduces the reader to the problems caused by plastic debris in the marine environment. Chapter II examines the types of debris that are known to cause the most severe problems. Chapter III discusses both the ocean- and land-based sources of plastic debris. Chapter IV examines international, federal, and state authorities governing the disposal of plastics in the oceans, particularly entanglement of marine species in discarded plastic materials. Chapter V details how the problems caused by plastic debris are being addressed, and Chapter VI suggests ways that citizens can participate in these efforts. Chapter VII discusses the implications and scope of the problem for the future. Finally, the Appendices contain lists of agencies, people, organizations, reports, and other information for the reader who wants to know and do more. We hope you will.


128 pages


marine pollution, water pollution, ocean dumping, marine debris