Current Status of Marine Debris

According to the Annual Report of COBSEA (Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia) in 2007, the amount of marine debris were estimated up to about 6.4 million tons per year, 1,800 tons of waste are dumped into the sea every day, approximately 5 million tons of which generated by the activities in the sea. Eighty nine percent of marine debris floating in the ocean is plastic, or an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile, which is three times larger than the amount of fish caught. Besides, it is estimated that more than 13,000 pieces of plastic floating in the ocean were found in every square kilometers. In addition, the conservation organization (Ocean Conservancy) reported the top ten items of marine debris collected from beaches around the world during 1989-2012. If we consider the number of pieces, it is found that the marine debris around the world was around 166,144,420 pieces; more than 80 percent of them were classified as cigarettes/cigarette filters, food wrappers/containers, caps, lids, cups, plates, forks, knives, spoons, plastic beverage bottles, plastic bags, glass beverage bottles , beverage cans, straws/stirrers, and rope. Moreover, cigarettes/cigarette filter were found in high percentage of all items of marine debris (32%), followed by wrappers/containers, caps, lids, and cups which accounted for 9 percents

 

Table Top ten items of marine debris collected from beaches around the world during 1989-2012

Rank

Items

Number of Items

(Pieces)

Percentage of total debris items

1

Cigarettes/Cigarette Filters

52,907,756

32%

2

Food Wrappers/Containers

14,766,533

9%

3

Caps, Lids

13,585,425

8%

4

Cups, Plates, Forks, Knives, Spoons

10,112,038

6%

5

Beverage Bottles (Plastic)

9,549,156

6%

6

Bags (Plastic)

7,825,319

5%

7

Beverage Bottles (Glass)

7,062,199

4%

8

Beverage Cans

6,753,260

4%

9

Straws/Stirrers

6,263,453

4%

10

Rope

3,251,948

2%

Total of top ten debris

132,077,087

80%

 Total debris items

166,144,420

100%

Source: Ocean conservancy (2012)

 

While, marine debris collected from the Thailand’s beaches since the year 2009-2012 is accumulatively found about 216,691 pieces and 20,947.16 kilograms of weight consisting of  29,994 plastic pieces (13.84 percent), followed by 24,416 pieces of the ropes (11.27%) and  22,000 pieces of lids and corks (10.15%)     

  

Figure  Composition of marine debris gathered from Thailand’s beaches during 2009 – 2012 

Source: Marine debris database, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Retrieved from

http://www.dmcr.go.th/Thailandcoastalcleanup/ on January, 2013