Europe and US tackling plastic ocean pollution

Europe and US tackling plastic ocean pollution

The European Commission, the United States, the National Aquarium of Denmark and NGO Plastic Change are behind an effort to raise awareness of plastic ocean pollution.

Plastic pollution is a serious threat to our ocean, putting fragile ecosystems, marine life, economic livelihoods, and human health at risk. Every year 10 million tonnes of plastic find their way into the world’s oceans, where it can remain for hundreds of years.

Citizens in several European Union member states will soon be able to learn more about ocean plastic pollution and what they can do to prevent it, thanks to cooperation between the United States, the European Commission, the National Aquarium of Denmark (Den Blå Planet), and NGO Plastic Change.

Through this partnership, a public education exhibit first shown in Copenhagen last year will travel to Estonia, Portugal, Malta, Italy and Belgium highlighting EU and US leadership in tackling marine litter. The Italian Government has also prioritised the issue of marine litter under its 2017 G7 Presidency.

With content from scientific expeditions led by NGO Plastic Change, the interactive exhibition raises awareness about plastics pollution, describes the impacts of micro-plastics on the ocean environment, and provides examples of simple actions individuals can take at home.

The fight against plastic pollution is one of the four main themes of the 2017 Our Ocean conference, to be hosted by the EU in Malta on 5-6th October.
Initiated by the United States in 2014, the first three Our Ocean conferences generated commitments valued at over 8 billion euros to protect our ocean and commitments to protect 9.9 million square kilometres of ocean – an area almost the size of Europe.