A recent report released by China’s State Oceanic Administration revealed striking numbers that show plastics as the primary culprit for ocean waste in the Chinese seas.
The agency collected more than 2 million sets of data from about 8,700 monitoring stations along the Chinese coastline during 2014.
The report, published on Mar. 11, said polystyrene foam plastics accounted 46 percent of all floating debris and other types of plastics accounted for another 31 percent. In other words, plastics overall made up 77 percent of floating debris.
Plastics also represented 77 percent of beach litter, mostly plastic bags, EPS foam and plastic bottles.
On the ocean floor, about 84 percent of the trash was found to be plastics, mostly plastic bags and bottles. The agency said it observed an average of 720 bags and bottles per square kilometer.
China was identified last month as the world’s largest source of plastic marine debris by a Science paper authored by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Indonesia and Vietnam ranked second and third, and the United States ranked 20th.
While China is the world’s largest importer of waste plastics, the China Scrap Plastics Association said imported scrap shouldn’t take the blame.
China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of plastic products, CSPA said in a statement.
“From a global point of view, China’s plastics recycling industry actually helps to reduce the amount of plastics dumped into the ocean,” it added, “if [we] don’t recycle them, more plastics will end up in the ocean.”
The Beijing-based trade group also blamed China’s weak environmental protection system for playing a more critical role in the result of ocean pollution.
From: Plastic News