World Oceans Day 2018: Focus on cleaning up plastic in oceans

NEW YORK – To highlight growing concern for the health of the world’s marine ecosystems, the UN will mark World Oceans Day on 8 June with a range of events that both celebrate the benefits that oceans provide, as well as amplify the need to take greater action to protect this global resource.

Recognizing the importance of the world’s oceans, seas and coastal areas to the world’s seven billion people, the 193 UN Member States included the need to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources as a distinct goal—Goal 14—in the Sustainable Development Goals that anchor the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

According to UN Environment, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away. Today, about 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year are produced, nearly equivalent to the weight of the entire human population. If current trends continue, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050

Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface and contain 97 percent of the planet’s water. Oceans contribute to poverty eradication by creating sustainable livelihoods and decent work. More than three billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. In addition, oceans are crucial for global food security and are the primary regulator of the global climate.

World Oceans Day 2018 carries the theme “Clean Our Ocean,” and will be celebrated by the UN in New York and at 40 events around the world.

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