​UN Commits To Stopping Plastic Waste From Polluting Our Oceans

It's no secret that the world's oceans are in deep water - no pun intended - with David Attenborough warning that oceans are under the biggest threat in human history.

Credit: BBC / Blue Planet II

And while this won't be solved overnight, now there's at least a step in the right direction - with the UN announcing a resolution to completely stopping plastic waste from polluting our oceans, following campaigns such as LADbible's ongoing Trash Isles project.

Under the proposal, governments would establish an international taskforce to advise on combating the 'planetary crisis', as the UN's oceans chief described it.

The UN's spokesman Sam Barratt told BBC News: "Of course we would have liked to have gone further, but this meeting's made real progress.

"There's now a sense of urgency and energy behind the issue that we haven't quite seen before.

"What is obvious, though, is that the UN can't solve this problem on its own. We need to do it in partnership with governments, businesses and even individuals."

Credit: PA

One particularly tricky issue within this idea is the need to include businesses on the global taskforce.

"Business is listening to markets and seeing how marine litter is a growing popular concern," says Vidar Helgesen, Norway's environment minister and a leading voice in the talks, speaking to BBC News.

"It's possibly the fastest-growing environmental problem and it's therefore a fast-growing problem for business.

"We need to bring on board those companies that want to change things, then look at taxes and regulations to make more companies act sustainably.

"We also need to mobilise businesses like aquaculture that suffer from marine pollution."

While the commitment has no timetable and is not legally binding, it does signal a huge move forward.

LADbible put pressure on the UN to address plastic pollution in the ocean with our very own Trash Isles campaign - a petition to officially recognise the world's first country made entirely out of trash.

The campaign refers to a particular area in the Pacific ocean that's amassed so much rubbish that it's now the size of France. With no one else paying attention to the wasteland, we teamed up with Plastic Oceans Foundation to turn it into the world's 196th country, named Trash Isles, and submitted a Declaration of Independence to the United Nations.

By becoming a country and a member of the UN, Trash Isles would be protected by the UN's Environmental Charters, which state: "All members shall co-operate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the earth's ecosystem".

Time to hustle, gang. Let's do this.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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