These 10 countries are the biggest contributors to marine plastic pollution – new analysis

Marine plastics are choking our oceans, with figures from cited by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealing that a staggering 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, having a devastating effect on aquatic life, human health as well as climate change impacts – read more about this in our Addicted to Plastic: Microplastic Pollution and Prevention report.

And as #PlasticFreeJuly enters its second week figures from packaging retailer RAJA UK have revealed the 10 countries responsible for throwing the highest amount of plastic into the ocean.

Calculating the amount of plastics that end up in the ocean each year in kg, it found that India (126.5 million kg), China (over 70.7 million kg) and Indonesia (56.333 million kg) topped the list as the worst offenders.

This was followed by:

4. Brazil (38 million kg)
5. Thailand (22.8 million kg)
6. Mexico (3.5 million kg)
7. Egypt (2.5 million kg)
8. United States (2.4 million kg)
9. Japan (1.84 million kg)
10. United Kingdom (703 million kg)

When figures examined countries based on annual plastic waste the ranking looked rather different, with the US taking the top spot and the UK sitting in 8th place.

1. United States (42 billion kg)
2. India (26.3 billion kg)
3. China (21.5 billion kg)
4. Brazil (10.6 billion kg)
5. Indonesia (9.1 billion kg)
6. Russian Federation (8.4 billion kg)
7. Germany (6.6 billion kg)
8. United Kingdom (6.4 billion kg)
9. Mexico (5.9 billion kg)
10. Japan (4.8 billion kg)

To learn more register for our Microplastics: Source to Sea webinar, take our Are you a marine citizen quiz? and read how the ‘Attenborough effect’ is having a having a positive effect on marine education.

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