Four ways to prevent the oceans being choked with plastic

(Picture: EPA
(Picture: EPA

One of the world's leading oceanographers has warned plastic floating in the sea is potentially a bigger threat to the environment than climate change.

"It’s choking our future in ways that most of us are barely aware," Charles J Moore, a captain in the US merchant marine, wrote in the New York Times after finishing an in-depth study of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Here are four surprisingly mundane techniques that we could use to reduce the volume of plastic at sea:

Plastic bag tax

The best way to reduce the amount of plastic is to use less of it and the best way to do this is to cut down on plastic bags.

Sieve-like skimmers

These come in a variety of shapes and sizes but essentially they aim to scoop up debris out of the water.


Covering gutters and catch basins in urban areas with five-millimetre screens has reduced the amount of debris flowing down rivers and into the sea.

Circular economy

The basic idea is to recycle as much as possible and to design products in such a way that as little has to be thrown away as possible.

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