This article suggests that the oceans are more threatened by climate change and over-fishing than by plastic accumulation and that the fundamental problems are created by ignoring the environmental consequences of economic growth. Technofix solutions to cleaning up plastics can only have minimum impact as can local action without government regulation around the world of the production of plastics.
Communities in charge of managing their local environment have been shown to be effective in coastal areas, but issues always arise with the scaling-up of these approaches to national or international levels.
There is clearly a need for policies which support local initiatives, rather than combat them. For example, government policies should immediately call for bans on non-essential plastic packaging rather than “working to a target of eliminating avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042” as the UK’s 25 year environmental plan currently indicates.