Big brands impact small islands: Sources of plastic pollution in a remote and protected archipelago

Jessica Savage, Alice Chamberlain, Millie Fellowes, Rebecca Jones, Tom Letessier, Fiona Llewellyn, David Morritt, Marcus Rowclife, Heather Koldewey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Remote islands are disproportionately affected by plastic pollution, often originating from elsewhere, so it is important to understand its origins, to stop debris entering the ocean at their source. We investigated the origins of beached plastic drink bottles in the Chagos Archipelago, a large remote Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the Indian Ocean. We recorded the brands, countries of manufacture, types of drink, and ages of plastic bottles and their lids. The prevalent type of drink was water, with items mostly manufactured in Indonesia, China, and the Maldives. The main brands were Danone and the Coca-Cola Company. We deduced that 10 % of the items originated from ships passing the archipelago, including all the items manufactured in China. The identification of the brands creating plastic pollution in remote MPAs with high biodiversity supports extended producer responsibility, one of the proposed policy development areas of the Global Plastics Treaty.
Original languageEnglish
Article number116476
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Early online date22 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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