Marine debris has been identified as a global problem alongside other key environmental issues, such as climate change, ocean acidification and the loss of biodiversity. It is regarded as one of the most significant problems for the marine environment and a major threat to biodiversity. Marine debris is aesthetically detrimental, a hazard to commercial shipping and fishing vessels, can facilitate the transport of organic and inorganic contaminants and is harmful to marine organisms and potentially also humans. Three-quarters of all marine debris is plastic, which contaminates habitats from the poles to the equator and from shorelines to the deep-sea. In short, marine debris is damaging to the economy, to wildlife and to the environment; there is universal agreement that it needs to be addressed urgently.
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