Plastic pollution in our oceans is a global epidemic, with an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic entering the ocean each year. That equates to one garbage truck full of plastic dumped into the ocean every single minute. Ocean plastic pollution poses a significant threat to our marine life and communities living in poverty that rely on healthy oceans for their livelihoods.
Plastic pollution knows no borders and it’s a challenge facing every country. Currently, plastic pollution is managed at the local and national levels; however, with more plastic pollution in our oceans than ever before, it is clear that this fragmented approach to ocean plastic pollution is not working.
This global issue requires a global solution. The good news? In March, ministers from 170 countries gathered at the UN Environment Assembly in Kenya, and promised to take immediate action to eliminate ocean plastics. But while this was a significant step to turn the tide, there is more work to be done.
Without global laws requiring countries to reduce plastic pollution, progress will remain slow. We cannot rely exclusively on national or regional legislation. A global treaty could set strict goals for pollution reduction in each country and encourage the development of country specific action plans to meet these goals. This would help to make sure that everyone is doing their part to help end ocean plastic pollution.
Call on UN Environment to help introduce legislation for a global treaty demanding that every country in the world steps up to reduce ocean plastic pollution.