Plastics and the Environment

Where does plastic pollution go when it enters the ocean?

A boy collects plastic materials near a polluted coastline to sell in Manila

Only a small proportion of plastic waste ends up on the ocean surface. Image: REUTERS/Cheryl Rave

Bruce Sutherland
Professor of Physics, University of Alberta
Michelle DiBenedetto
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington
Ton van den Bremer
Associate Professor of Engineering, Delft University of Technology
Our Impact
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Plastics and the Environment is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Plastics and the Environment

Have you read?
Plastics and the Environment Climate Change Environment and Natural Resource Security The Ocean
Only about 0.3 million tonnes of that plastic is floating on the ocean surface. Image: Environmental Research
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Plastics and the EnvironmentClimate ChangeFuture of the EnvironmentOcean
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Why does the world need a global treaty on plastic pollution

Joel Makower

May 26, 2023

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2023 World Economic Forum