An estimated 8 million metric tons (MMT) of plastic waste enters the world's ocean each year - the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck of plastic waste into the ocean every minute. Plastic waste is now found in almost every marine habitat, from the ocean surface to deep sea sediments to the ocean's vast mid-water region, as well as the Great Lakes. This report responds to a request in the bipartisan Save Our Seas 2.0 Act for a scientific synthesis of the role of the United States both in contributing to and responding to global ocean plastic waste.
The United States is a major producer of plastics and in 2016, generated more plastic waste by weight and per capita than any other nation. Although the U.S. solid waste management system is advanced, it is not sufficient to deter leakage into the environment. Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste calls for a national strategy by the end of 2022 to reduce the nation's contribution to global ocean plastic waste at every step - from production to its entry into the environment - including by substantially reducing U.S. solid waste generation. This report also recommends a nationally-coordinated and expanded monitoring system to track plastic pollution in order to understand the scales and sources of U.S. plastic waste, set reduction and management priorities, and measure progress.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. Reckoning with the U.S. Role in Global Ocean Plastic Waste. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/26132.
|2 Plastic Production and Global Trade
|3 Plastic Waste and Its Management
|4 Physical Transport and Pathways to the Ocean
|5 Distribution and Fate of Plastic Waste in the Ocean
|6 Tracking and Monitoring Systems for Ocean Plastic Waste
|7 Interventions for U.S. Contributions to Global Ocean Plastic Waste
|Appendix A: Biographies of the Committee on the United States Contributions to Global Ocean Plastic Waste
|Appendix B: Definitions and Acronyms
|Appendix C: Legal Framework
|Appendix D: Estuary Table
|Appendix E: Global Instruments and Activities Relevant to Ocean Plastic Pollution
The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.
The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:
Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415
To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.