Under the slogan "# Clean Seas, Turn the tide of plastic!", The UN asked governments to carry out policies to reduce plastics, and appealed to consumers to abandon the habit of using and throwing away plastic products"Before it irreversibly damages our oceans".
About 90 percent of all the garbage that floats in the oceans is plastic, so the organization asked the industry to minimize packaging made from this material.
More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans each year, the equivalent of dumping a garbage truck full of plastics every minute, according to data from Nairobi-based UNEP.
More plastic than fish
At this rate, by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastics than fish, and about 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic, by some estimates.
These damages to marine ecosystems amount to at least $ 8 billion, as they not only wreak havoc on marine flora and fauna, but also on fishing and tourism.
“The time has come to tackle the problem of plastic that damages our oceans. Pollution from this material is already navigating the beaches of Indonesia, settles at the bottom of the ocean at the North Pole and reaches our tables through the food chain ", warned the executive director of UNEP, Erik Solheim, in a statement .
Uruguay and Costa Rica
Countries that already support this UN campaign include Uruguay, which has pledged to tax single-use bags later this year, and Costa Rica, which will take steps to reduce plastic through better waste management. and the education.
"Our objective is to discourage the use of plastic bags through regulations, provide an alternative for workers in the waste sector and develop educational plans on the impact of the use of plastic bags on the environment," said the Minister of Environment of Uruguay, Eneida de León.
For his part, his counterpart from Costa Rica, Edgar Gutiérrez-Espeleta, stated that his country is “firmly in favor of the participation of all the actors involved in this issue, including civil society and the private sector, to support national efforts. and worldwide ”in the fight against marine litter.
The technology firm Dell has also wanted to join this campaign and committed to recycling the plastic from the oceans to use it in the packaging of its products.
Another source of marine litter is the microbeads used in cosmetic products: about 51 trillion microplastic particles (500 times more than the stars in the galaxy) litter our seas and seriously threaten marine flora and fauna, according to the UN .
The organization hopes to announce progress in its fight against plastic in the oceans during the Oceans Conference to be held in June in New York and during the Environment Assembly scheduled for December in Nairobi.
Photo: The UN launches the campaign "#MaresLimpios, Turn the tide of plastic!". EFE / Alex Hofford