U.N. Resolution Promises to Reduce Ocean Plastic Waste

By: | December 19th, 2017

Did you know that at least 8 million tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year? This horrible environmental pollution is not only causing the deaths of countless fish, whales, sharks, sea lions, birds, and microscopic plankton, but it is also entering the human food chain.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), if current pollution rates continue, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050.

It’s a matter of serious concern, but nothing can be solved overnight. There is, however, a ray of hope. Recently, more than 200 countries signed a United Nations resolution in Nairobi, Kenya, to eliminate plastic waste in the world’s oceans.

This resolution could pave the way toward establishing a legally binding treaty that would deal with the plastic pollution problem. Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister, said, “There is very strong language in this resolution. We now have an agreement to explore a legally binding instrument and other measures and that will be done at the international level over the next 18 months.”

UNEP head Erik Solheim focused on banning and redesigning some packaging so as to use as little plastic as possible. He said, “Let’s abolish products that we do not need … If you go to tourist places like Bali, a huge amount of the plastic picked from the oceans are actually straws.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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