The issue of plastic pollution in rivers and seas has gained significant attention in various publications and papers. The prevailing consensus is that the primary cause of this pollution is the “mismanagement” of discarded plastic products, parts, and packaging. However, this term fails to capture the true nature of the problem.
When communities lack proper waste collection infrastructure, they are left with limited options for dealing with plastics and other waste. In such cases, discarding into the environment, open dumping or resorting to burning are the only viable alternatives. The absence of waste management options, rather than mismanagement by individuals, is the root cause of the problem. It is essential to recognise this reality and focus on providing adequate waste management solutions to tackle the issue effectively.