Our waters stretch across more than 70% of the Earth’s surface with 97% of our planet’s water residing within our oceans. A new study by Direct365, an essential business services provider, has uncovered the countries and industries contributing the most to ocean pollution and used AI to visualise how beaches will look in the future due to rising ocean waste.
Analysing data, the research compiled how many tonnes of waste each county contributes to our oceans each year and how much this is predicted to rise to by 2050, the industries that need to step up their green initiatives and ways in which we can all work collectively to reducing the impact of waste in our oceans.
Ocean waste is predicted to rise 274% by 2050
In 2020, data confirmed that there are 1,223,850 tonnes of waste disposed in the ocean, with future predictions standing at a rise of 60% by 2030, 147.4% by 2040 and 274% by 2050.
Direct365 used Our World Online to analyse plastic emitted to the ocean (per capita, per share of the world and total), the probability of ocean pollution by country and mismanaged plastic waste by country.
The top 10 ocean polluters in the world
|Rank||Country||Year||Plastic waste emitted to the ocean (metric tons year)||Share of global plastics emitted to ocean||Total waste emitted to the ocean (metric tons year)*||Probability of plastic being emitted to ocean||Mismanaged plastic waste (metric tons year)||Forecasted Plastic waste in 2050 (million tons)|
The top 10 worst countries contributing to plastic waste in the ocean are primarily from Asia. These top ten countries account for 83.22% of the total plastic waste emitted globally.
In 2019 the Philippines emitted 356,371 metric tonnes of plastic, topping the list. India closely followed with 126,513 metric tonnes. Future predictions show the Philippines reaching 2,410,328 million tonnes and India 855,675.10 tonnes respectively.
Aside from the Philippines, India and Malaysia, the remaining countries make relatively negligible impact. The remaining countries collectively contribute less than 1% of waste each, making a fairly minimal impact on global ocean pollution.
Economic structures, waste management policies and population densities all play a role in determining a country’s waste contribution. No matter how big or small the contribution, it still needs to be minimised in order to safeguard our environment.
AI predicts how beaches will look in the future due to rising ocean pollution
Ocean waste is predicted to rise by 274% by 2050. Direct365 used AI to visualise what the most popular beaches of the top countries with the worst waste pollution would look like in 2050. This was visualised by using the percentage of the country’s share in global plastics emitted to the ocean.
Philippines’ Bounty Beach is expected to be covered by 36.38% of waste pollution
Palolem Beach in India predicted to be covered by 12.92% of plastic by 2050
7.46% of Pantai Cenang in Malaysia to be covered by waste by 2050
Karl Bantleman at Direct365 said, “It is now becoming increasingly obvious that the ocean waste crisis demands urgent action. With 97% of our water being our oceans, it is essential governments and industries implement increased investment to tackle waste. With predictions that 6,624,600 tonnes of waste will inhabit our oceans by 2050, we must remember how important it is to do our bit at work and home and recycling is one of the easiest ways to ensure that we reuse material that would otherwise most likely end up in our oceans.”
One thing’s for certain; we simply cannot continue emitting waste into our oceans at such a scale. While this is a global issue that some countries contribute significantly more than others to, implementation of waste management solutions should be taken from the ground up, starting in those industries that contribute most drastically to ocean pollution.”