Researchers at the Ocean University of China found that microplastics reduce microalgae growth and the effectiveness of photosynthesis. The production of more microplastics could therefore affect plankton`s ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Measures taken by companies and governments to combat plastic pollution are at a record level. The number of voluntary initiatives and national regulations to address this problem has more than doubled in the last five years – but the number of plastic pollution continues to rise. There are several reasons for this: ultimately, reducing emissions from plastics may require a completely superior strategy: waste reduction, retention materials through sanitation, reprocessing and recycling. Under this circular business model, carbon dioxide emissions would decrease by 62 million tonnes per year, according to the authors of the CIEL report. A report published in June by organisations such as Greenpeace set out the conditions for the effectiveness of an international agreement, including the implementation of a universal strategy to combat plastic pollution, measures to combat harmful additives in plastic and the protection of poorer countries, which have contributed less to plastic pollution and which cost more to combat pollution. An international treaty should also quickly implement the production of plastics. This is essential when you consider that plastic products are used all over the world and that waste appears everywhere, including in uninhabitable Antarctica. After plastics have been used, people can throw them into the environment, sometimes intentionally and sometimes accidentally.
Even when plastics arrive in a landfill, some are light enough to blow in the wind and enter the waterways. Goldsmith also said that businesses and nations should focus on nature in order to tackle the environmental crisis and noted that the UK could use COP26 as a key factor for action in the area of plastic waste and biodiversity loss. But without international aid, Kenya`s actions have not reduced waste, Macharia said, saying that „because of our porous borders that allow illegal plastic trade,“ it has only been moved across Kenya`s borders to other countries. But critics say the marine effects of plastics are only part of the problem. „Plastic pollution is not just about oceans. It`s a climate problem and a human health problem,“ said Claire Arkin, communications coordinator for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, a global network that aims to reduce pollution and eliminate waste incineration.