Ocean Action Hub

22 Feb 2017 - The way things are going now, our oceans will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. An ambitious United Nations campaign aims to stop this from happening.

On 22 February 2017, UN Environment announced its #CleanSeas initiative at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia. The campaign focuses on two major sources of marine litter: single-use plastic bags and microplastics in cosmetic products. The goal is to eliminate these major sources of marine litter by 2022. 

“We’ve stood by too long as the problem has gotten worse,” Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said in a statement. “It must stop.”

Each year, more than 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the oceans. Much of it can’t be broken down and will remain in the oceans for centuries. The debris injures and kills fish, seabirds and marine mammals. It also causes fish to be smaller and slower than those raised in clean water.

There’s also a concern that it could be harmful for humans to consume fish that have ingested plastic, but more research needs to be done on the issue. 

Plastic pollution costs $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year, according to UN Environment. 

Ten countries, which are considered pioneers in addressing the issue, have joined the #CleanSeas initiative. They include Indonesia, Uruguay, Belgium, Costa Rica and France. The United States hasn’t yet joined in. CONTINUE READING HERE: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/un-environment-clean-seas-ocean-plastics_us_58adcc39e4b0d0a6ef470d42

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Publication date: 
Publication Organisation: 
The Huffington Post
Publication Author: 
Eleanor Goldberg
Thematic Area: 
Marine pollution