What is Being Done?
Cooperation among a wide range of stakeholders is key
Plastics makers are working with NGOs and other public and private sector actors to develop and pilot systemic interventions that will focus resources where they can have the most immediate and significant impact – regions and economies where the most waste enters the ocean. Solutions to this important problem must include reduction, reuse, increased recycling, tough litter abatement laws, and well-run municipal waste management systems.
Across the globe, 355 plastics industry partnerships and projects are underway, planned, or completed in communities.
Our Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter is one of the primary ways the world’s plastics makers are conserving our oceans and combatting ocean pollution. Since 2011, a total of 74 world plastics organizations in 40 countries have voluntarily committed to help.
International Beach & Ocean Clean-Ups
Hundreds of thousands of people every year scour the globe’s beaches and waterways in an effort to counter the effects of litter and marine debris.
These beach clean-ups not only beautify beaches, they also help quantify and qualify the nature of the litter and marine debris problem. Government agencies across the globe use this data to target efforts to combat marine debris.
The largest beach-cleaning event is operated by the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. More than 18 million pounds of trash was collected by nearly 800,000 volunteers during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup.
That’s 18 million pounds that would have either entered our seas and oceans, or returned to them after washing on shore. But was collected and properly disposed of or recycled instead.
The Honolulu Strategy is a framework for comprehensive and global effort to reduce the ecological, human health, and economic impacts of marine debris.
In March 2011, government representatives, major industries, and leading marine researchers convened in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the fifth International Marine Debris Conference. By bringing together 440 participants representing 38 countries, governments, research bodies, corporations and trade associations, the Fifth International Marine Debris Conference resulted in new commitments and partnerships to address the issue of marine litter at global, national, and local levels.
They agreed on a new set of commitments aiming to tackle the widespread problem of marine debris in the world’s seas and oceans.
One such commitment is known as The Honolulu Commitment. The Commitment is a cross-sectoral approach to help reduce the occurrence of marine debris, as well as the extensive damage it causes to marine habitats, the global economy, biodiversity and – last but not least – the risks posed to human health.
The Honolulu Commitment encourages sharing of technical, legal and market-based solutions to reduce marine litter, improve local and regional understanding of the scale and impact of the problem and advocate the improvement of waste management worldwide. It also marks the first step in the development of a comprehensive global platform for the prevention, reduction and management of marine debris, to be known as The Honolulu Strategy.
The Honolulu Strategy aims to provide a strategic framework for coordinated action plans to prevent, reduce and manage sources of marine debris. It outlines several approaches for the reduction of marine debris, including prevention at land- and sea-based sources, and the need to see waste as a resource to be managed. It will also call for public awareness campaigns on the negative impacts of improper waste disposal on our seas and oceans – targeting street litter, illegal dumping of rubbish and poorly-managed waste dumps.
How You Can Help
Continued cooperation and greater education the keys to a bigger impact on marine litter. But we can’t do it without you. Two simple ways you can help today are:
- Explore the rest of this site, to equip yourself.
- Share it with influencers in your life.
By strengthening our own knowledge, and sharing it with others, we can more effectively spread solutions. And by getting the word out, we can better empower stakeholders at every level of any community in the world to make a positive difference.