Take action against the scourge of plastic pollution

Imagine 3.4 million square km, or 6x the surface of France, ⅓ of Europe, all covered in plastic. This is what is happening right now in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It is called the 7th continent.

This huge gyre of plastic waste is at the heart of environmental concerns. Discovered in 1997 by Charles J. Moore, this plastic continent has only grown since then. As the use of plastic increases, the already dramatic consequences only get worse. The manufacture of plastic has doubled since the year 2000 and should follow this exponential trend in the years to come, so we dare not imagine the extent of the damage to come. It is a real scourge: it is estimated that 10% of the plastics produced have already ended their life in the oceans, and the phenomenon is far from over. Conversely, only 9% of plastic waste was recycled. It is therefore the entire plastic sector that needs to be reviewed, from its manufacture to its end of life.

All experts warn of its dramatic impact on marine biodiversity and coastal populations. In question, the 14 million tons of micro plastic that litter the oceans. The danger of these particles smaller than 5mm lies in their ingestion by marine species. On the one hand, they are very harmful to their organism. On the other hand, they enter the food chain and end up in our water and our plate. [We hope you like plastic on the menu because it is estimated that a human being consumes 5 grams per week , that's the equivalent of a credit card!

What are the actions taken to fight against plastic pollution?

To save the oceans, or at least what can still be saved, States have recently decided to act. On the occasion of the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly held last March in Kenya, a resolution on plastic pollution and marine litter was adopted, with the support of France in particular. The international community hailed this ambitious resolution, which proves that States are capable of finding a consensus to protect the planet together.

It should however be taken into account that this resolution has no binding legal value, it is only a political and symbolic declaration. Indeed, a political commitment cannot be invoked before the courts, which means that if it is not respected, there is no legal sanction. Conversely, a binding legal act obliges the States to respect the standards provided for, without which they expose themselves to heavy penalties.

This adoption is therefore a very encouraging first step but must now be followed by a strong legal act to fight effectively against marine pollution. An intergovernmental committee has just been created with a view to adopting a binding agreement. We will of course keep you informed of its progress ;)

At the same time, we can count on NGOs who are carrying out numerous actions to limit the damage caused by plastic pollution. Boyan Slat, founder of the Ocean Clean Up project, has set himself the goal of cleaning half of this continent of waste in 5 years thanks to a floating barrier capable of retaining plastic particles.

For its part, the association The Sea Cleaners is currently developing the Manta “the first boat capable of collecting, processing and recovering large quantities of marine plastic waste.” The Tara Foundation leads expeditions with the aim of “exploring and raising awareness in order to protect”. We particularly wanted to introduce you to these two initiatives. Firstly because they are French and we can be proud of them! But above all because they advocate long-term actions through innovation, research and awareness. We are convinced that this is the key to change: stop profiting in the short term and instead think long term.

If you want to follow the progress of these projects, we will share all the news on our social networks.


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