The report recommends that governments focus more on preventing rubbish entering our waterways, instead of trying to control it once it gets there.
"For every 100 units of rubbish that enter the ocean, 15 percent float on the surface, 15 percent collect in the water column near the shore and the rest sinks to the bottom of the deep ocean," said McIlgrom.
With most rubbish originating from land based sources, he said it makes more economic sense for governments to introduce preventative measures.
"Once debris enters the water and becomes diluted, it becomes much more expensive per unit of rubbish to pick up."
McIlgrom said governments should implement proper landfill practices, which would go a long way to reducing the amount of rubbish that ends up in our water ways.
He said recycling, especially of plastic "really needs attention and thought."
McIlgrom said, good strategy is to reimburse people who recycle plastic bottles, like in South Australia.
The report also recommends building nets at the end of estuaries, where rivers or streams meet the ocean, to catch any debris before it makes its way into open water.