The Mind-Blowing Cost of Plastic Pollution

We’ve all seen the heartbreaking photos of animals being caught up in plastic waste and often killed. We’ve all seen the reports of whales, dolphins, birds and other marine animals washing up dead on beaches with stomachs full of plastic bags and other objects. Just last week, a pregnant sperm whale washed up on a beach on Sardinia with almost 50 pounds of plastic…

Carrier bags being removed from the stomach of a dead whale. (Photo: MPR News)

The Economic Impact of Plastic

That’s exactly what a number of researchers have attempted to do. Researchers from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory have completed an investigation into the economic impact of plastic in our ocean that is the first of its kind and the findings are very disturbing.

Still More to the Story

The estimates made in the journal don’t even include every impact plastic pollution has on local and national economies. Factors like the direct and indirect impacts on tourism, transport, the fishing industry, or human health were not taken into account when considering the economic estimate of plastic pollution.

What Can You Do?

Every country around the world is affected by marine plastic pollution, even those that are landlocked, so it is up to us all to make changes to reduce the amount of plastic we use. That can start with just everyday decisions like avoiding food and other products that are wrapped in plastic and choosing different products or a different place to shop.

Ecobricks! (Photo: Inhabitat)

Now There’s an Economic Argument

Not only is there an environmental argument for reducing the amount of plastic we consume but now there’s an economic one. $2.5 trillion is a huge cost to countries all over the world and we’re all affected. Important change needs to come from national governments and businesses from the local to global scale but there is still so much more we can all do to reduce the impact we’re having.

Go out and get involved!

| Founder of | Masters in Sustainable Development | Interested in all things sustainable |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store