Plymouth University professor in 'plastic hazard' call

Beach waste Professor Thompson has been studying the effect of waste plastic on marine life

Related Stories

A Plymouth University professor has joined calls for plastic waste to be classed as hazardous.

Prof Richard Thompson, of the Marine Biology and Ecology centre, is among a team of international academics who say waste plastics threaten the environment and wildlife.

Their report in Nature magazine says more than 370 marine species ingest or become entangled in plastic debris.

They add that the benefits of plastic outweigh its "negative impacts".

Prof Thompson, the only UK scientist involved in the report, has been studying the effects of waste plastic in the oceans since 2004.

He said: "The Nature report builds directly on our previous research, together with that of other leading world experts, and asks that we acknowledge these problems by reclassification of plastic waste as hazardous."

The report said: "Many people think that replacing materials such as wood and glass with plastic to make goods lighter can help to address climate change.

"However, the benefits must be balanced against the negative impacts of plastics so that they are used only when they have smaller carbon and ecological footprints than alternatives."

It said there was a precedent with the legislation taken to ban CFCs, which led to a global halt in some dangerous chemical emissions.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon

Weather

Plymouth

Min. Night 4 °C

Features & Analysis

  • BeefaloBeefalo hunt

    The hybrid animal causing havoc in the Grand Canyon


  • Blow torchTorch of hope Watch

    An ancient art form helps troubled youth pick up the pieces


  • This Chinese character has taken China's internet by stormDuang duang duang

    How a new word 'broke the Chinese internet'


  • Don Roberto Placa Quiet Don

    The world's worst interview - with one of the loneliest men on Earth


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree

Programmes

  • 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statueClick Watch

    Using drones to 3D map the famous Brazilian landmark Christ the Redeemer

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.