1000 Rivers Emit Nearly 80% of Riverine Plastic Pollution into Worlds Oceans, Newly Published Research Shows

One Percent of Rivers Worldwide, Including Many Small and Medium-Sized Rivers, Represent the Largest Contributors of Ocean Plastic; New Research Challenges Previous Estimations

Rotterdam, the Netherlands – April 30, 2021 – The Ocean Cleanup, the non-profit developing advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic, today presented the results of its updated global river pollution model in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances. The publication sheds new light on where and how much plastic flows into the oceans via rivers. With the help of new measurements and modeling, the study shows that 1000 rivers shed almost 80% of plastic emissions. This number is 100 times more than the 10 rivers that were previously thought to be responsible for most of the pollution. The study was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Wageningen University, Delft University of Technology, Utrecht University, and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.