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Marine plastic pollution as a novel entity within the Planetary Boundaries Framework
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Could marine plastic pollution be integrated as a novel entity within the planetary boundary framework? We know that human activities are capable of changing the normal function of Earth-systems processes. One of the most evident contemporary anthropogenic activities is the use and disposal of plastic. Overall, plastics represent 10% of the solid waste weight. Furthermore, plastic items represent 95% of marine litter on a global scale. The magnitude of the effects of marine plastic pollution remains uncertain. 

In this thesis, I analyse the perspectives of key experts on the social-ecological processes involved in marine plastic pollution. I use a driver-pressure-state-impact-response framework for the analysis of the interviews, to show how these experts see marine plastic pollution affecting Earth-system processes. I conclude that, from a qualitative perspective, marine plastic pollution does fulfil the criteria for chemical pollution to pose a planetary boundary threat, therefore it could be considered for inclusion in the planetary boundary framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
marine plastic pollution, planetary boundaries framework, Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Responses, microplastics, Earth-system processes, social-ecological systems.
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131832OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131832DiVA: diva2:944518
External cooperation
GRID-Arendal
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-06-29 Last updated: 2016-06-30Bibliographically approved

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