The Blue Green Blog

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Conversations and debates around climate change and maritime pollution from the shipping industry usually focus on the need to reduce CO2 emissions and use more sustainable energy sources. However, the industry hasn’t paid enough attention to container pollution, and its effect on marine life and shorelines.

This issue was recently brought to light by a French non-profit organisation, the Surfrider Foundation, which produced a report called ‘Shipping containers at sea, an unacknowledged drift,’ to highlight the phenomenon of container loss at sea and its detrimental effect on the environment.

Container traffic makes up 80% of the international transport of goods and is an important part of countries’ trade relations. However, many containers are lost at sea, an occurrence that becomes more probably as demand increases, and increasing temperatures lead to more storms. This is a major, unresolved issue that the industry and national governments have not yet addressed.