More than 200 countries signed a UN resolution Wednesday in Nairobi to eliminate pollution from plastics in the oceans.
By this text, the signatory countries hope to pave the way for the conclusion of a legally binding treaty.
According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), which organized the event, there will be more plastics than fish in the oceans by 2050 if pollution continues at the current rate.
Eight million tonnes of plastic – bottles, packaging and other waste – are thrown into the sea each year, killing marine life and interfering with the human food chain, UNEP added.
“We now have an agreement to consider a legally binding tool and other measures that will be taken internationally over the next 18 months,” said Norwegian Environment Minister Vidar Helgesen.
“We found microplastics in mussels, which is a dish we like to eat,” he told Reuters. “In January of this year, a rather rare whale hope ran aground on a beach by exhaustion and we had to kill her, and in her belly, we found 30 plastic bags.”
China, the world’s largest producer of plastic waste, has begun to take steps to reduce this pollution, said UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim.
The boss of the UN environmental agency urged states to ban certain objects or packaging.
“Prohibit products we do not need,” he said. “In tourist places like Bali, straws are a huge amount of the plastic we collect in the ocean.”
The resolution adopted Wednesday provides that countries will start monitoring the amount of plastic they release into the sea.
“Even though it is not a treaty, significant progress has been made, and 39 governments have announced new commitments to reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean,” UNEP chief Sam Barrat said. Chile, Oman, Sri Lanka or South Africa.
I recommend you to watch the documentary: A Plastic Ocean. It exposes in your face the realities of plastic use in our way of life.