The marine plastic pollution crisis

Peter Manyara is the South Africa-based regional project co-ordinator for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities (Marplasticcs) programme for southern and east Africa

Plastic Pollution: The Facts

  • Globally, over 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year.
  • Between 8—10 million tons of this plastic flows into our oceans every year.
  • Plastic kills an estimated one million seabirds and 100 000 marine mammals each year.
  • Plastic pollution costs a minimum of $13-billion annually in damage to marine ecosystems.
  • Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities Project (Marplasticcs)

    In 2017 the IUCN launched the Marine Plastics and Coastal Communities initiative (Marplasticcs) with the support of the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency. This is a three-year initiative working with five countries: South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Marplasticcs assists the governments, municipalities, industry, research institutions and organisations in these countries to strengthen and effect legislative and practical measures to reduce plastic pollution from source to sea.

    Working with the private sector

    Plastic packaging is currently largely single use in business-to-consumer applications. It is essential that extended producer responsibility schemes should be designed and implemented to stimulate design change within the consumer goods industry.

    Marplasticcs’ engagement with the private sector includes supporting platforms for leadership and corporate stewardship to address the plastic problem and come up with innovative solutions and actions, as well a better understanding and assessment of the plastic footprint.

    For more information

    These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

    The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

    To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


    Municipality won’t remove former mayor, despite home affairs demands

    The department is fighting with a small Free State town, which it accuses of continuing to employ an illegal immigrant

    Western Cape Premier Alan Winde tests positive for coronavirus

    Alan Winde admits he is in a vulnerable group when it comes to contracting the virus, considering he is 55 years old, and a diabetic

    Eskom refers employees suspected of contracts graft for criminal investigations

    The struggling power utility has updated Parliament on investigations into contracts where more than R4-billion was lost in overpayments

    press releases

    Loading latest Press Releases…

    The best local and international journalism

    handpicked and in your inbox every weekday