In 2015, the problem of marine litter climbed to the very top of the list of global environmental problems after a landmark study suggested that there are 100 million tonnes of plastic in the oceans. Regrettably, the study overlooked the share of the blame that can be put on the recycling industry, which has exported 106 million tonnes of plastic waste to China over the past 20 years or more. A significant proportion of this is thought to have ended up in the oceans.
Last June, I sounded the alarm about the impact of recycling on marine pollution and revealed how unscrupulous operators were making the situation worse. Soon afterward, the UK audit office came to similar conclusions and the media started to give the issue some attention.