The World Economic Forum promoted this historical year as the ‘super year for the ocean’. Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, various worldwide initiatives have been implemented to protect our shared ocean. Among them, addressing marine plastic pollution is a priority.
In May 2020, reaffirming the need to improve the condition of coastal and marine ecosystems, Friends of Ocean Action and a coalition of over 65 ocean leaders published ‘’The Ocean Super Year Declaration’’ during the World Economic Forum. This declaration focuses on a shared vision of climate action, promoting both ocean knowledge and national legislation as means to protect the ocean.
Since the definition of SDG 14 and the proclamation of global goals, there has been limited progress on managing marine plastic waste and increasing the recyclability of plastic packaging. As ocean advocates claim for the development of a coordinated and collaborative action plan to protect marine resources, global policies are still needed to regulate plastic pollution.
According to OECD, between 14 to 18% of waste plastics generated globally are collected for recycling and 24%i s incinerated. The 58% left either remain uncollected or ends up in illegal landfills to make its way into rivers, and eventually the ocean. To tackle this issue, regulations must be promoted by national and local governments, including the legal definition of plastic waste and an appropriate management of it.
As part of these regulations, a focus must be applied to the Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP), a plastic waste located within 50km from the coast. Indeed, this plastic does not necessarily have to end in landfills, it can also be reused and recycled into new products. Being both a waste and a resource, OBP recycling can help to foster new economic models based on a circular economy.
In line with the ‘’super year of the ocean’’, initiatives that address marine pollution through an administrative and legal framework are welcome to enhance collaboration and joint projects.The Ocean Bound Plastic certifications are part of this global movement and awareness:fighting climate change can only happen with the implementation of a global coalition.
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