UN launches campaign to reduce marine litter

Last month, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) launched a global campaign to eliminate two major types of marine litter by 2022: microplastics commonly used in cosmetics and single-use plastic items such as plastic bags.

According to a report released last year by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, more than 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, which is roughly the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck’s worth of plastic into the ocean every minute. It is said that If business continues as usual, the amount of plastic entering the ocean will jump from two garbage trucks per minute by 2030 to four trucks per minute by 2050, the report found. rice field. By that time, there will be more plastic in the ocean than all the fish combined, and 99% of seabirds will be eating plastic litter floating in the ocean.

UNEP has launched the “Clean Sea Campaign” to end the plastic trend. The campaign encourages governments to reduce the consumption of plastic products by encouraging businesses to minimize their use of plastic containers and changing consumer habits that contribute to the mass dumping of plastic into the ocean. We recommend that you take steps to reduce it.

Seabird health is not the only problem. More than 600 species of marine wildlife are affected by marine debris, according to UNEP . About 15% of organisms that are harmed by eating or becoming entangled in marine debris are already threatened with extinction.

UNEP said 10 countries had already joined when the campaign started. For example, Indonesia has pledged to reduce marine litter by 70% by 2025, and Uruguay has announced that it will introduce a tax on single-use plastic bags later this year. Costa Rica, meanwhile, said it plans to reduce single-use plastics by improving waste management and education.

“Costa Rica recognizes that single-use plastics and non-recoverable microplastics are what are endangering and destroying the marine environment,” said Edgar Gutiérrez-Espeleta, minister of environment and energy in Costa Rica. said in a statement. “We strongly support all those who join us in this campaign, both domestically and internationally, including civil society, the private sector, and the public at large. If we do, we can effectively eliminate marine litter.”

Countries such as Belgium, France, Grenada, Norway, Panama, Saint Lucia and Sierra Leone have already joined the campaign.

Some private companies have also indicated their willingness to tackle the issue through their supply chains. The most prominent example is Dell Computers, which devised a large-scale initiative to use plastic recovered from the sea near Haiti to package its products. “Dell is committed to a plastic-free ocean with technology and expertise,” Piyush Bhargava, Dell’s head of global operations, said in a statement. “By proving that new supply chains can commercially reuse recycled ocean plastics, we are one step closer to what the United Nations Environment Program envisions as a ‘clean sea’. ”

Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson is one of the public figures behind the Clean Sea Campaign. Johnson said he would try to reduce the use of single-use plastics at his concert venue in the summer of 2017, and also promoted a new documentary film, “Smog of the Sea.” I have too. This documentary looks at the impact of the more than 50 trillion plastic particles that currently pollute our oceans.

UNEP will continue to monitor new initiatives undertaken by countries and companies to reveal the rate at which plastic pollutants are entering the ocean as the campaign progresses. Since the launch of the campaign, a number of bold steps have already been taken, including the governments of Kenya and Tunisia announcing a ban on single-use plastic bags, and the New Zealand Ministry of the Environment announcing a ban on the use of microplastic beads across cosmetics and personal care products. It is

“It’s time to tackle the plastic problem that is destroying our oceans,” said UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim in a statement. “Plastic pollutants are floating around on Indonesian beaches, accumulating on the Arctic seafloor and even reaching the food chain at our table. must be stopped.”

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