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Far from a distraction: plastic pollution and the planetary emergency


Lavers, JL and Bond, AL and Rolsky, C, Far from a distraction: plastic pollution and the planetary emergency, Biological Conservation, 272 Article 109655. ISSN 0006-3207 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, (

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109655


Pollution of the environment with plastics has garnered significant public attention, but the topic has also been the focus of controversy, including assertions that resources are better spent on other topics, such as global warming. Here, we argue that plastic pollution and climate change are fundamentally linked, from the extraction of fossil fuels to the production of plastics, and eventual disposal. We demonstrate how plastics research and funding currently lag significantly behind that of climate change and conclude by advocating for a more integrated approach to addressing pressing conservation issues in the time of a planetary emergency.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine debris, plastic pollution, fossil fuels, climate change, anthropocene, planetary boundary threat, cumulative impacts
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Pollution and contamination
Research Field:Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Adaptation to climate change
Objective Field:Adaptation to climate change not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:150910
Year Published:2022
Web of Science® Times Cited:10
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2022-07-05
Last Modified:2022-11-14
Downloads:8 View Download Statistics

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