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ecobarrier silt curtains green sustainability
Published on 12 Jul ‘16
Marine debris: A threat to coastal marine life
ecobarrier silt curtains green sustainability

It is a global problem – floating litter and other debris keep on washing up on beaches, disrupting the natural habitat and polluting our shores.

Some governments are trying to educate themselves and their citizens on what can be done to prevent and reduce pollution, not only marine pollution but also land-based pollution. The latter seems to be the main source of the issue, as several studies have shown that the majority of marine pollution comes from land.

The UK for example has been running campaigns to tackle drivers who drop litter from their cars for many years now (Keep Britain Tidy). Offenders get points on their license, community service and a large fine. Others ask their citizens and companies to reduce rubbish by recycling paper, glass, cans and plastic containers, and composting food scraps.

Beach clean-ups are organized worldwide to reduce marine pollution. International Coastal Cleanup is just one example – more than 85 million Dirhams of trash was collected by nearly 800,000 volunteers during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup. These removal activities restore marine habitats and save millions of marine organisms.

Projects have also been set up over the past years to explore the effectiveness of debris barrier devices, such as debris booms. Debris booms are floating booms with a net that prevent trash and other marine debris from continuing downstream. Several studies have shown and proven the effectiveness of this type of barrier.

Besides introducing campaigns, recycling, cleaning beaches and installing debris booms, much more obviously needs to be done on preventive measures to reduce marine and land-based debris. Ellen MacArthur – a record-breaking sailor – is suggesting a change at the material production level. She also claims there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. More here about this story.

A blog post as response to Derek Baldwin’s article in Gulf News ‘Plastic waste threatens coastal marine life: Study’ dd. July 11, 2016.

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