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Debris Drop-Off: Plastic Bag Deterrents Working in European Waters

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A new study shows that there are significantly fewer plastic bags on the seafloor since a number of European countries introduced fees on them, according to a 25-year study from the UK government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS).

Researchers saw an estimated 30 percent drop in the number of plastic bags in waters around Norway, Germany, northern France and Ireland. “It is encouraging to see that efforts by all of society, whether the public, industry, non-government organizations or government, to reduce plastic bags are having an effect,” says Thomas Maes, a marine litter scientist at CEFAS. “We also observed sharp declines in the percentage of plastic bags captured by fishing nets trawling the seafloor around the UK compared to 2010, and this research suggests that by working together, we can reduce, reuse and recycle to tackle the marine litter problem.”


This article appears in the October 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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