Assessing threats, regulations, and strategies to abate plastic pollution in LAC beaches during COVID-19 pandemic

María B. Alfonso, Andrés H. Arias, María C. Menéndez, Ana C. Ronda, Agustín Harte, María C. Piccolo, Jorge E. Marcovecchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Plastic use and production have dramatically increased globally over the past 65 years with the improvement of life quality by the daily use of plastic products. Still, around 50% of the plastic produced is disposable products that generate substantial waste. Several reports pointed out the adverse effects of plastic litter in coastal environments in recent years, emphasizing single-use plastics (SUP). In this manner, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) coastal environments are highly vulnerable due to wastewater treatment facilities scarcity and poor plastic waste management strategies. Since COVID-19 pandemic, the single-use plastic waste/person rate is expected to rise due to the use of personal protective equipment and SUP as health care measures. Based on literature research and the review of plastic waste regulations, this paper will assess the main COVID-19 plastic pollution threats and LAC beaches' regulations to suggest possible measures to abate this problem. The main findings suggest that unifying the ongoing fragmented and overlapped policies is key to abate plastic pollution, including plastic industry regulations and circular economies. In addition, increasing public risk perception about plastic pollution is critical to reducing plastic waste generation. Research advances in the adverse effects of plastic debris could improve the public's perception of plastic pollution risk, pushing forward global marine plastic governance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105613
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Volume208
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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