ACTION FOCUS FOR WORLD OCEANS DAY 2018:
Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean.
World Oceans Day, June 8, was initiated in 1992 as a Canadian celebration and then subsequently adopted by the UN and turned into a global celebration in 2008. It is an annual opportunity to honour, protect and conserve the world’s oceans. For 2018, the conservation action theme will be preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions to this issue.
In 2015, the world produced 322 million tonnes of plastic, 40% of which was used for packaging. Of this plastic packaging 30% escaped into the environment, much of it ending up in our oceans and surface waters. The NOAA, a division of the US government, has created a Monitoring Toolbox to help citizens participate in the monitoring and tracking of Marine Debris.
It has been estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans Habitats are being destroyed and many ocean dwellers are becoming tangled or choked on waste plastic they encounter in their travels. As more and more of the marine animals ingest these plastics they are making their way up the food chain to us. Scientists have recently found micro-plastics in groundwater, treated drinking water and even bottled water. The long term effects of these chemicals being introduced into our systems is still unknown. We all need to act now to stem the flow of this plastic waste before it is too late.