We should not separate out environmental issues, but the current approach to plastic pollution can be a distraction from meaningful action. A response to Avery-Gomm et al.

Last modified: 
December 13, 2019 - 12:42pm
Type: Journal Article
Year of publication: 2019
Date published: 09/2019
Authors: Richard Stafford, Peter Jones
Journal title: Marine Policy
Volume: 107
Pages: 103585
ISSN: 0308597X

We agree with Avery-Gomm et al. that we should not separate out environmental issues. We also agree with them over the relative threat of plastic to our oceans. However, recent evidence on the ‘spillover effect’ of pro-environmental behaviours and on public attitudes to threats to areas such as the Great Barrier Reef suggest common consumerist and political approaches to tackle plastic pollution can cause a distraction from issues caused by climate change and biodiversity loss. We reiterate that we need political changes to address overconsumption in order to make real progress on all environmental issues.

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