Marine pollution from plastic debris is a global problem causing negative impacts in the marine environment. Plastic marine debris as a contaminant is increasing, especially in Canada. While the impacts of macroplastics are well known in the literature, there are relatively few policy studies related to mitigating microplastic toxicity in the environment. Despite overwhelming evidence of the threat of plastic in the marine environment, there remains inadequate or limited policies to address their mitigation, particularly microplastic debris. Existing policies for waste management, marine debris monitoring and awareness campaigns were evaluated from other jurisdictions. Policies and recommendations were developed for the Canadian context. Recommendations include improved practices for: (1) law and waste management strategies; (2) education, outreach and awareness; (3) source identification; and (4) increased monitoring and further research.
Shauna Pettipas, Meagan Bernier, Tony R. Walker, Marine Policy, Volume 68, Pages 117–122, June 2016