THAILAND is one of the top 10 countries that have been mismanaging their plastic waste, which has resulted in plastic debris sinking to the bottom of the sea along its coastlines, a study published in the Science journal said.
The world’s oceans are clogged with plastic debris, enough to place five grocery bags full of plastic trash on every foot (30 centimetres) of every nation’s coastline around the globe, the article in Thursday’s edition of the journal read.
The list is topped by China, which is responsible for 8.82 million tonnes of plastic waste each year, followed by Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Egypt, Malaysia, Nigeria and Bangladesh. Thailand comes in at No 6 with 1.03 million tonnes.
Based on 2010 data, the study estimated that a staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic debris entered the oceans every year from the 192 coastal countries across the world.
Judging from the rising level of waste, more than 9 million tonnes of trash is expected to end up in the oceans this year.
Experts have been sounding an alarm over the past few years about how plastic pollution is killing huge numbers of seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles and other creatures and also adversely affecting ocean ecosystems.
“In short, you name it and it is probably somewhere in the marine environment,” said Kara Lavender Law, a research professor of oceanography with the Massachusetts-based Sea Education Association.
The plastic debris found on ocean floors ranges from shopping bags, bottles, toys, food wrappers and fishing gear to cigarette filters, sunglasses, buckets and toilet seats.