River plastic emissions to the world’s oceans

Modelling inputs of plastic from rivers to the marine environment

Rivers are a major source of plastic waste into oceans. We estimate that between 1.15 and 2.41 million metric tons of plastic currently enters the ocean every year via rivers, with 86% of this global input coming from Asia.

This interactive map shows the results of a global numerical model that predicts inputs of plastics from rivers into the marine environment.

The map also depicts the data used by the model such as mismanaged plastic waste production on land, river catchment hydrology and location of dams and man-made barriers worldwide.

Our findings were published in Nature Communications and can assist in prioritizing future monitoring efforts and mitigation strategies.