Pollution of the oceans by plastics and effectiveness of legal norms of protection

Rebeca Isabel Muñoz Arosemena, Renata Calheiros Zarelli, Miguel Etinger de Araujo Junior


Studies established that oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface. This area of the planet, nowadays, suffers from plastic pollution due to its inadequate disposal, which affects marine fauna and flora. Only 9% of these plastics are reused or recycled, meaning that the rest ends up being garbage that goes into different places. According to United Nations Environmental Program, about 90% of the waste that is floating in the oceans comes from plastic or derived. Given this scenario, the UN has established the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources as one of its sustainable development main goals, to be accomplished in 2030. This goal will not be achieved without the containment of contemporary predatory capitalism, were the general model of life is linked to consumption, as a way of demonstrating the identity of the individual, his ethical values and behaviors, requiring more effective coercive norms, organized with economic incentive policies. Considering that Brazil and Panama are ROCRAM members, and that one of its main principles is to integrate efforts and exchange experiences in order to make more effective implementation of international conventions on maritime pollution, it’s possible to compare these two countries related legislation. As a result of an ongoing research, this paper proposes as a mechanism to approach to a possible answer and to address the following points in the investigation: What are the international environmental agreements related to the protection against incorrect plastic disposal and ocean pollution? What are theenvironmental legal norms applied by Brazil and Panama, and the relationship between the legal norms and the effectiveness (or not) of pollution reduction? The methodology is based on a descriptive investigation, through data collection, making an analysis and focusing on solving the questions established above, according to the existing international legislation, aiming for ocean protection.

Paraules clau

Environmental Law; Maritime pollution; Plastic pollution; Maritime Protection

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17345/rcda2441

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