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Public concern about, and desire for research into, the human health effects of marine plastic pollution: Results from a 15-country survey across Europe and Australia

• Davison SMC, White MP, Pahl S, Taylor T, Fielding K, Roberts BR, Economou T, McMeel O, Kellett P, Fleming LE.
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Published gold open access in Global Environmental Change 2021;69:102309


  • 15-country survey of health-related perceptions of marine plastic pollution.
  • Public extremely concerned over human health impacts of marine plastic pollution.
  • Strong public support for research into marine plastic pollution and human health.
  • Socio-political and personality factors predict public concern and research support.
  • Public concern is positively associated with support for research.

Marine plastic pollution is growing problem caused by humans in the marine environment. However, public opinion is unknown with respect to marine plastic pollution and human health.

Both the European and Australian public in the 15-country SOPHIE survey (n = 15,179) were highly concerned about the potential human health impacts of marine plastic pollution, and strongly supported the funding of research to better understand its health implications. These perceptions varied across factors (such as gender and political orientation).

This information will help policy makers and communicators to develop more targeted communications and policy initiatives to reduce marine plastic pollution.

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