OECD Ocean

Ocean pollution

The oceans are under increasing stress from multiple urban and rural sources of pollution, notably solid and liquid wastes from cities, fertiliser and manure run-off from farming, air emissions from shipping, and incorrect disposal of plastic from land-based and sea-based sources.

The OECD is supporting governments to adequately address these challenges. The cumulative effects of ocean pollution can be devastating for human well-being and ecosystem health. Ultimately, they can undermine sustainable economic growth. The OECD provides policy insights on managing and preventing water pollution and marine plastic waste, and reducing the environmental impacts of shipping.

Data and infographics

- 407 million tonnes of plastic was produced in 2015: triple the amount produced in 1990
- 1 600 million tonnes of plastics will be produced anually in 2050, on the current trends
- 81% is the decline of Freshwater biodiversity between 1970 and 2012
- 400 “dead zones” in the oceans

But we can act now. Check our latest data

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