Asian Nations Make Plastic Oceans Promise

تم نشره في Thu 8 June / Jun 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Kids collecting plastic items floating in water in asia - (Reuters)

Nations responsible for much of the world's ocean plastic pollution have promised to start cleaning up their act.

At a UN oceans summit, delegates from China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines said they would work to keep plastics out of the seas.

Some of the promises are not yet formalised and environmentalists say the measures proposed are not nearly urgent enough, but UN officials praised the statement.

Meeting in New York, they said it was part of a clear international shift against ocean pollution.

Eric Solheim, the UN's environment director, told BBC News: "There are quite encouraging signs, with nations taking the ocean much more seriously. Of course, there is a very long way to go because the problems are huge."

It is estimated that 5-13 million tonnes of plastics flow into the world's oceans annually. Much of it is ingested by birds and fish – and fragments of plastic have even been found in organisms at the bottom of the ocean.

A recent paper said much of the marine plastic often originates far from the sea – especially in countries which have developed consumer economies faster than their ability to manage waste.

The Helmholtz Centre in Leipzig, Germany, estimated that 75 per cent of land-borne marine pollution comes from just 10 rivers, predominantly in Asia.

Reducing the plastic loads in these rivers by 50 per cent would reduce global plastic inputs by 37 per cent, it said.