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Global Plastics Industry takes big leap forward in tackling marine litter

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by - 6/3/2016 9132 Views

Managing Marine Eco-System by Managing Plastic Waste

The consortium of plastic organizations from across the world announced that global plastics industry has made significant progress in preventing marine litter. The recently released annual progress report states that the activities to prevent plastic litter in the coastal and marine environment have gone up by more than 165%. The efforts are on with approximately 260 projects planned, underway or completed.

Marine Litter:

Marine littering according to this consortium is defined as human-created waste which can cause serious harm to ocean ecosystems, wildlife and humans. Estimates suggest that nearly 80% of the marine litter is from land-based sources such as poor waste management and sewage overflows. Roughly 70% of the marine litter including glass and metals sinks to the ocean floor, whereas the lighter weight materials such as plastics float on the surface.

Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary-General, Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) observed that the marine litter is caused by a minority section of consumers who dispose of their plastic products carelessly and inappropriately. Further, he emphasized on the need to raise awareness about proper waste management and plastic scrap recycling.

Marine litter or littering can injure coral reefs and bottom dwelling species and entangle or drown ocean wildlife. Some marine animals ingest the litter, which can result in starvation and death. Medical waste (such as syringes), sharp objects, and large pieces of litter can pose a direct threat to humans. In addition, the economic impact of marine litter is significant.

A Global Declaration:

In order to prevent plastic waste or plastic scrap end up in oceans, 47 plastics organizations from around the globe joined hands to announce a declaration named ‘The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter’. The declaration was launched at the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference took place March 20-25, 2011, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This declaration identified six focused work areas-Education, Research, Public Policy, Best Practices, Recycling/Recovery and Plastic Pellet Containment and asked signatories to commit to making contributions to sustainable solutions in these areas. Signatories were asked to identify specific actions – from educational campaigns to increased plastics recycling – to undertake in the six major work areas. They also agreed to track and report progress.

Monitoring Progress:

Since initiating the Global Declaration, signatories have identified numerous specific actions designed to fulfill these commitments across the six major areas. Ina major boost to this declaration, In 2013 it was accepted and inducted as part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter.

As of December 2015, 65 associations in 34 countries have signed on to the Global Declaration, and the 260 projects are underway, planned or completed. The number of projects has skyrocketed by 165% since the announcement of the declaration.

Steve Russell, vice president of plastics for the American Chemistry Council expressed immense pleasure on the continued growth in the efforts to tackle marine litter. The significant increase in participating industry associations could make a big difference, he added.

Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director of Plastics Europe noted that it will continue its efforts to develop and execute programs, in partnership with governments, non-governmental organizations, researchers, and other stakeholders. He welcomed more number of stakeholders to join their efforts.

Category : Plastic

Tags : Plastic Waste, Plastic Scrap, Plastic Waste Management

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About Georgy Abraham

As the bright morning of 28th May dawned in the year 1972, in the fulfillment of time according to the plan & will of Almighty Godbrought me forth into this world and I was brought up & educated in Orissa. My parents provided me with the best of education in an English medium school with high standa .... more info


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