There’s a new report out this week about ocean plastics, the man-made debris that floats and sinks in global waterways and often lands in marine creatures’ stomachs. According to the study (pdf), which was a collaborative effort by McKinsey & Co.’s environmental business unit and the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, roughly 60% of all the plastic in global waters originates in five countries: China, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.


None of the countries identified in the report as “the five focus countries for action” to reduce global plastic pollution has a formal recycling system. What they do have are “waste pickers,” who root through garbage piles to find reusable items to sell for cash. These people “are the unsung heroes of conservation”...

full report: