In a recent LA Times op-ed, the Emmett Center's Cara Horowitz and Mark Gold of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability argue that an international approach is needed to protect our oceans from the environmental disaster of plastic marine debris. In Drowing the Oceans in Plastic, Horowitz and Gold write:
"To achieve the dramatic reductions necessary to stem the plastic marine litter crisis, we need a comprehensive solution akin to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that has dramatically reduced the global use of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons. An effective treaty would include strict monitoring requirements, third-party compliance assessment, funding mechanisms and easily enforceable requirements with substantial penalties."
The op-ed is based on a policy brief released by the Emmett Center last week, Stemming the Tide of Plastic Marine Litter: A Global Action Agenda (by Mark Gold, Katie Mika, Cara Horowitz, Megan Herzog, & Lara Leitner, October 2013). The brief is the fifth in the Emmett Center's series of Pritzker Policy Briefs. The policy brief provides more detail on the size and origin of the ocean plastics problem, the limitations of current international laws and institutions, and the need for a new international policy response.