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The eco-entrepreneurs waging war on plastic pollution in oceans

Updated: Sep 7


Author: Jonathan Peeris

Plastic is in pretty much everything that we use, and it’s become a major source of pollution, particularly in the world’s oceans. Money Mind looks at how some organisations are helping to stem the tide.

SINGAPORE: From straws to takeaway containers, plastic bags and personal protective equipment - the amount of plastic that is used every year is growing.

Despite a global push for recycling and reducing single use plastics, much of this ends up as waste in the world’s oceans.

Every year, about 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans. That is equivalent to more than 15 bags of garbage, on every metre of coastline around the world.

“We can immediately see the impact this has on the marine life. But what we do not know for sure now is the extent of the impact on human health," said materials expert Yvonne Lin from WWF Singapore. "The plastic in the ocean breaks down into microplastics, and these then could enter the food chain when people eat seafood,” she added.

According to a 2015 report by the Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey, 60 per cent of all plastic waste in the ocean comes from five Asian countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Although Singapore does not contribute much to plastic pollution in the ocean, experts say we still have a part to play in the clean-up.

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