Assembly President launches new initiative to purge plastics and purify oceans

UNEP/Cyril Villemain Local people from Watamu, Kenya, work with Local Ocean Conservation to pick up plastic on the beach.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The President of the UN General Assembly launched a new global call to action on Tuesday, to help end the scourge of plastic pollution in the ocean.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa told journalists at UN Headquarters in New York, that her Campaign Against Plastic Pollution – a priority during her year in office –  will hold both consumers and decision-makers accountable, urging the phasing out of single-use plastics such as water bottles, and raising awareness of the impact plastic pollution has on human and environmental health.

“It is estimated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. Microplastics are now confirmed in table salt, in fresh water, each person on the planet is believed to have plastic in their bodies,” she cited in her statement

“I intend to leverage the capacity of the office of the President of the General Assembly, to support ongoing global campaigns to beat plastic pollution. This will include complementary efforts by UN Environment, Global Citizen and National Geographic, amongst others.”

According to the UN’s climate agency, UN environment (UNEP), more than eight million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean annually; that’s equal to dumping one garbage truck of plastic per minute, at a cost of around $8 billion, in damage to marine ecosystems.

The Assembly President said the campaign is comprised of two elements: global advocacy, and internal initiatives to reduce plastics use within the UN.

This is not the first time the UN has put the scourge of alarming plastic debris at the head of its priorities. In 2010 the “Greening the Blue” campaign was launched to raise awareness of the importance of sustainability throughout the UN system and encourage staff members to reduce, reuse and recycle.

During this year’s high-level week of the General Assembly, UNEP launched the Global Plastics Platform, a network to foster commitments to reduce plastic pollution by exploring innovative designs, and methods of consumption and disposal of plastics around the world.

Last year, the agency headed up the Clean Seas campaign to urge a ban on single-use plastic, after findings revealed there were 500 times more microplastic particles littering the ocean, than there are stars in the galaxy.

Ms. Espinosa has previously pledged her commitment to the issue; specifying the environment and a ban on plastics among the seven top priorities on her agenda as Assembly President.

She announced that in Spring 2019, the initiative to stamp out plastic will be highlighted by events across the globe; including one celebrating innovative progress in New York City, a concert in the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, and a photo exhibit at the UN General Assembly to coincide with World Environment Day.

Join us in groundbreaking plastics ban, urges PM

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Gaston Browne, announced that the concert was set for April 27th to coincide with Antigua ‘Sailing Week’.  It will include regional and internationally renowned musicians and artists and will highlight efforts to tackle the problem globally.

He noted that Antigua and Barbuda had been successful in the elimination of single use plastics. “During the past two years, we have introduced a ban, which has worked very well…Antigua and Barbuda is the first country in the Caribbean to do so. We need to protect our oceans and we are calling on all nations to join us in banning the use of single use plastics.”

Norway’s Deputy Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Ms Mari Skåre, affirmed: “We are strong supporters of the initiative and the reason is that we have a problem with plastic pollution. Norway knows this. We know it is a health problem for the oceans and for humans. Fish eat plastic, humans eat fish”, she said.

“The good news is that we have solutions. We can solve this. This is why this global campaign is so important. If you are consumers, use your own bottle. We want to pull our weight in finding good, clean solutions for our common future.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

In wake of ‘collapsed’ agreement, new wave of violence threatens millions in Syria’s Idlib

MEPs call for more sanctions against Belarus following ‘Ryanair hijacking’

The British are the most positive in Europe on the benefits of immigration

Refugee crisis update: EU lacks solidarity as migration figures drop

Why is scientific collaboration key? 4 experts explain

Phone lines open between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and people are calling strangers

A skills gap is jeopardizing efforts to end energy poverty

Health & Sustainable Development Goals: it’s about doing what we can

Amid ongoing fighting in northeast Syria, hundreds cross Iraqi border in search of safety

Promoting Equality for Women in the Healthcare Industry : A Physician’s Reflection on His Experiences as a Medical Student

These are the world’s best countries to retire in, as of 2019

A Sting Exclusive: “Entrepreneurship in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) era” written by the Vice-President of Junior Enterprises Europe

From the Field: Women push for peace

Banking on sustainability – what’s next?

Stakeholder Capitalism: over 50 companies adopt ESG reporting metrics

The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union will impact young people’s future the most

Poland: €676 million worth of EU investments in better rails and roads

COVID-19: A time screaming for positivity

German heavy artillery against Brussels and Paris

A busy year in the UN Security Council: more openness, diversity mark 2019

Border management: Commission welcomes political agreement towards making European Travel Information and Authorisation System operational

Mexico must increase foreign bribery enforcement: full implementation of anti-corruption reforms could help

CHALLENGING THE ZEITGEIST OF DIGITAL – Change making projects innovate mobile support for refugees, inclusive environments, early breast cancer detection and more

These are the world’s most fragile states in 2019

How youth and technology can drive Africa’s COVID-19 response

Iraq: UN demining agency rejects desecration accusations, involving historic Mosul churches

Do not jeopardise future-oriented EU programmes, say EP’s budget negotiators

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Strengthening the rule of law through increased awareness, an annual monitoring cycle and more effective enforcement

From farms to supermarkets: MEPs approve new EU rules against unfair trading

Decarbonizing shipping – why now is the time to act

Scale of displacement across Myanmar ‘very difficult to gauge’, says UN refugee agency

EU disburses €460 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Tunisia, Kosovo, Montenegro and North Macedonia

Recession: the best argument for growth

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

The Cold War had an unintended side effect: It created a European wildlife paradise

Aung San Suu Kyi suspended from the Sakharov Prize Community

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

Why Eurozone’s problems may end in a few months

UN envoy ‘encouraged’ by latest talks on avoiding ‘worst-case scenario’ in Syria’s Idlib

Migration: EU helps channel humanitarian support to migrants in Lithuania

Crime and drugs in West and Central Africa: Security Council highlights ‘new alarming trends’

Digital privacy comes at a price. Here’s how to protect it

Connecting Europe Express reaches final destination after 20,000km journey

A Sting Exclusive: “China is Making Good Stories not Bad Ones”, Ambassador Yang highlights from Brussels

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

Erasmus+: over €28 billion to support mobility and learning for all, across the European Union and beyond

Where are the charities in the great Artificial Intelligence debate?

This project is using AI and drones to track and protect great white sharks

EU-China relations under investigation?

Why we need to redefine trust for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The European Parliament hemicycle in Strasbourg (Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro)

EU Parliament sends controversial copyright law reform back to discussion

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

Backed by UN, Asia-Pacific countries to advance space technology for ‘development transformation’

Is Germany closer to Russia than the West? Nord Stream II and Iran count more

Education should be like everything else. An on-demand service

EU steps up aid for Lebanon – European Commissioner for Crisis Management in Beirut

Commission takes further action to ensure professionals can fully benefit from the Single Market

We must work together to build a new world order. This is how we can do it

Artificial Intelligence: These 3 charts show what people really think

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: