Cost of Great Lakes Plastic Clean-Up Could Top $486 Million


reeves report

plastic-litter-shutterstock_1154290572SHOULD THE FINANCIAL BURDEN of removing all plastic debris from the Great Lakes fall on the shoulders of the 36 million people within the basin, researchers now have an estimate of the cleanup costs: $486-million (US).

Findings from the Ecohydrology Research Group at the University of Waterloo published this month in the Journal of Great Lakes Research has taken a critical step in filling the knowledge gap of how plastic waste interacts in freshwater systems as opposed to saltwater seas and oceans.

“We know more and more about ocean plastics, but, paradoxically, we have little information on the distribution and fate of plastic debris in the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater resource,” according to Philippe Van Cappellen, author of the report and professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Science.

RELATED: How much plastic is in the Great Lakes?

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