Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics

Document Type

Research Article



The environmental literature has begun to consider the impact of environmental problems on human health. This realization serves both as a means to provide scientific evidence to consider the environment and public health jointly. This approach also increases recognition of the environment where stakeholders have not understood the links between environmental and human health. The oceans and seas play an important role in human health, through the provision and quality of the air that we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, while offering economic and recreational opportunities which enhance public health. However, the links between human health and ocean plastic pollution are unclear and research in this area is in its infancy. This paper argues that aligning human health and the impacts of ocean plastic pollution, focusing on the co-benefits of any planned intervention is important when figuring the costs associated with mitigation measures. Doing so will also raise awareness of the broader impacts of plastics in the ocean and seas. Within this context, this paper focuses on the need for economists and policymakers to look past the direct economic costs and benefits and focus on co-benefits of ocean plastic mitigation, particularly the impacts to human health.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.