Marine plastic pollution is a “planetary crisis,” and environmental groups had hoped for a “Paris-style” global treaty aimed at tackling it. The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, lays the fundamental groundwork for the world to take action on climate change and a similar arrangement is vitally needed on a global level to have some kind binding regulations for countries on the use, production, the disposal and recycling of plastics.
Scientists calling for a binding international agreement said the impact of ocean plastics on biodiversity, the ecosystem services, food security and human health make it a global threat. The commitment under SDG 14 is to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution. The crisis gives new impetus for action. Much is done already at local levels by governments and civil society groups and the list is impressive.
World Environment Day (WED)
It is the world’s largest environmental celebration which takes place annually on 5 June, The theme for 2019 is “Beat Plastic Pollution.”
WED is the principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for creating consciousness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution, human overpopulation, and global warming to sustainable consumption and wildlife crime.
WED has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, NGOs, communities, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate for environmental causes.
Each of us individually needs to make the difference by way of concrete actions, such as joining mass campaigns and working with our governments to enact new legislation and introduce innovative services and programs. New methods can be implemented in our respective organizations. The easiest and most powerful are simple life style changes. For ideas, see the UN’s Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the World.