This webinar originally aired on 8 April 2015.
Considerable progress has been made in determining the amount and location of plastic debris in our seas, but how much plastic actually enters them in the first place is more uncertain. Dr. Jambeck led a research team that combined available data on waste management infrastructure with a model that uses population density and economic status to estimate the amount of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean. The findings: as much as 12.7 million metric tons of plastic is entering the global ocean annually, and unless waste management practices are improved, the flux of plastics to the oceans could increase by an order of magnitude within the next decade. In this one-hour webinar, Dr. Jambeck will cover this groundbreaking study and answer audience questions on her methods and findings, including implications for reducing marine debris. The study and a podcast about the study are available at www.sciencemag.org/content/347/6223/768.abstract.