Plastic now accounts for 85% of all rubbish in our oceans

Plastic now accounts for 85% of all rubbish in our oceans

Plastic now represents 85% of all marine litter and every year 11 million metric tons of it end up in the ocean, warned Bolívar Cañizares, the head of the Environment of the Directorate of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama, earlier today at the UN meeting for the negotiation of the High Seas Treaty, which is on in New York until August 26th.

Cañizares also reminded that 175 countries supported the adoption of a binding agreement on these materials during the United Nations Environment Assembly last March.

The first session of the UN Working Group, in which this first international treaty to curb plastic pollution, will be negotiated in November "with the firm commitment to promote national and international cooperation measures to reduce plastic pollution in the marine environment, including existing plastic pollution.”

"If additional measures are not taken, by 2025 there will be 150 million tons of plastic floating in the oceans," warns Cañizares, who highlights that "Panama will be a key player in this negotiation as one of the few countries in the region that contemplates a national plastic reduction regulations and action plans on marine litter collection.”

In his opinion, it also represents an opportunity and cites the executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Inger Andersen, to highlight that the treaty will help move towards a circular economy, will reduce the volume of plastics that end up in the oceans by more than 80% by 2040, and virgin plastic production by 55%.

In addition, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and create around 700,000 jobs, it adds.