Plastic Sea: a review of plastic at sea


  • Dr. Rodolfo Elías Grupo Bioindicadores Bentónicos, Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (IIMyC), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (UNMdP), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)


Plastic at sea, sources, biological effects, South-American and world distribution, recommendations


80% of plastic pollution at sea derives from land sources; the remaining 20% is of marine origin. Plastic pollution causes plugging of energy production cooling systems and entanglement of propellers, affects aquaculture development and deteriorates aesthetic values. The damage caused at all levels of marine life includes plankton, benthic invertebrates and large mammals. Plastic intake releases toxic substances and reduces efficiency of physiologic processes, with the consequent risk of direct or indirect death. The increase of plastic debris in the oceans is directly related to consumption and people’s unawareness. The seas of Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile, South American countries far away from large production and consumption centers, show an incipient plastic pollution. A key source of pollution is the inadequate management of waste such as dumps in the open, lack of selection and recycling of plastic materials, of rain water treatment and irresponsible tourism. Recycling is an essential tool to reduce oil use, carbon dioxide emissions and toxic residues.


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How to Cite

Elías R. Plastic Sea: a review of plastic at sea . Mar Fish Sci [Internet]. 2015Sep.28 [cited 2021Sep.17];27:83-105. Available from:

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