The price tag of plastic pollution: An economic assessment of river plastic

Every year, millions of tons of plastic enter the oceans, of which the majority spills out from rivers. A portion of this plastic travels to ocean garbage patches, getting caught in a vortex of circulating currents. If no action is taken, the plastic will increasingly impact our ecosystems, health, and economies.

Marine litter affects key industries such as fsheries, aquaculture, tourism, commercial shipping, and local coastal governments. The economic costs associated with marine litter can be direct
(i.e. cleanup activities, and potential loss in economic value) or indirect (i.e. impact on biodiversity and ecosystems).

To date, few studies have addressed the economic costs associated with marine litter. This limits the incentives and ability to address the build-up of marine litter at the source itself, before it enters the oceans. In this paper, we draw attention to the costs emerging from marine plastic pollution, and present a comprehensive assessment model to estimate the costs at a country level, associated with marine plastic litter that flows from land, typically via rivers, into the oceans and ultimately putting a price tag on plastic pollution.

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Report via Deloitte Netherlands