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Managing Editor  | May 2017

United Nations initiative declares war on ocean plastics


Citing a report from the 2016 World Economic Forum delivered by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation that stated there would be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050, the United Nations (UN) has decided to take action with its Clean Seas initiative, according to a report on the UN website.

 

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The United Nations has declared war on the problem of ocean plastics.
(Clean Seas/YouTube)

 

 The Clean Seas program was launched at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali and insists that the world’s governments pass plastic reduction policies, the world’s industry leaders to reduce plastic packaging and redesign products, and also seeks to educate the public about the need to change its habits regarding plastic consumption.

 

According to the initiative website, “Over the next five years, we will address the root-cause of marine litter by targeting the production and consumption of non-recoverable and single-use plastic. To do this effectively, we need citizens to be aware, engaged and active in addressing the problem in their own lives and beyond.”

 

It continued, “We also are giving a platform to hundreds of local organizations who are already doing important work on marine litter to highlight their efforts. By connecting individuals, civil society groups, industry and governments, UN Environment aims to transform habits, practices, standards and policies around the globe to dramatically reduce marine litter and the harm it causes.”

 

In particular, the UN is targeting microplastics as a potential health threat to not only marine animals but also for humans.

 

In the announcement on the UN site, Petri Suuronen, Fishery Industry Officer at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), stated, “These microplastics often carry toxic contaminants and pose a real risk to food security and human health if they enter the human food chain via the fish that we eat… With an estimated 9.7 billion people to be fed by 2050, the threat of fish stocks contaminated with microplastics and their associated toxins is clear.”

 

On June 5, the UN will gather its member states and other global representatives in New York City for an Ocean Conference to demand a “call to action” for a “more sustainable future for the world’s oceans.”

 

Learn more about this UN push against plastic pollution in the video below:


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