Ocean plastic pollution has reached levels never seen before and absolutely harmful for all human species. Every year, more than 8 millions tons of plastic end up into the sea. Cosmetics industry, for example, is responsabile for the leakage of 51,000 billion particles of microplastic, that is the microgranules found in toothpastes and some cosmetics which, because of their tiny sizes, escape cleaning systems.
80% of waste of all litter in oceans are made of plastic costing at least 8 billion dollars in damage to marine ecosystems. At this rate, according to the estimates of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), by 2050 oceans will carry more plastic than fish and an estimated 99 per cent of seabirds will have ingested plastic.
This disastrous situation has direct impacts on human life, considering that all plastic, walking up the food chain, reaches our meals.
It’s an environmental emergency that has led Unep to launch the so-called CleasnSeas campaign. The initiative was launched at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia. The Unep worldwide campaign is ” urging governments to adopt specific plastic reduction policies and targeting industry to minimize plastic packaging and redesign products; and calling on consumers to change their throwaway habits – before irreversible damage is done to our seas”.
The problem is the real efficiency of this type of campaigns which, unfortunately, don’t actually oblige any governments to ensure that concrete actions are applied. So far, only ten countries have already joined the campaign with far-reaching pledges to turn the plastic tide: Belgium, Costa Rica, France, Grenada, Indonesia, Norway, Panama, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone and Uruguay.
In particular, Indonesia has committed to slash its marine litter by a massive 70 per cent by 2025 while the French Minister for Ecology, Ségolène Royal, claimed: “I’m happy to announce that I’ve signed an agreement to support this agency financially in order to fight against this worldwide threat in the context of an international alliance against plastic bags and plastic pollution”.
We’ll see what this satisfaction will translate into in the next months when (we hope) other countries will join the worldwide campaign. What is certain is that the pollution process must be stopped immediately.
Always according to Unep: ” Today, we are producing twenty times more plastic than in the 1960s. Around one third of all plastic is used for packaging. By 2050, our plastic production will have to grow three to four times to satisfy our demand. A large portion will end up in oceans where it will remain for centuries”.