Plastic pollution is strewn across beaches and in oceans, bays, and estuaries. Tiny particles of plastic debris (often called microplastics) are so pervasive in aquatic ecosystems that we find them in seafood and table salt. Marine organisms ingest or are entangled by plastic, sometimes with fatal consequences. Research suggests plastic pollution may impact biodiversity, ecosystem services, food security, and human health. In short, plastic pollution is a global threat.
Despite the ubiquity, persistence, and cross-boundary nature of plastic pollution, stemming it is not an insurmountable task. Motivation for addressing the issue is building at the international level. The time is ripe for the initiation of an international agreement with measurable reduction targets to lessen the plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.