Marine plastic pollution has attracted increasing scientific, political and public concern. Pictures of remote islands being covered with plastic, shocking figures such as more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050 and the immense quantity of the problem (more than 300 million tonnes of plastic being produced every year, of which between 8 to 12 million tonnes are being dumped into the oceans) have brought the marine and maritime dimension of plastic pollution to the top of the agenda. Most pollution is coming from land-based sources, from litter such as plastic bags (globally, more than one million bags are used every minute) plastic bottles (14% of all litter comes from beverage containers) to microplastics coming from fibres in our clothes (a single wash may release up to 700,000 microfibres) microbeads in cosmetics and even car tyres.
Due to this growing level of concern, the SEArica intergroup have organised an ambitious European Agenda to tackle plastic pollution on a continental scale. The title of this campaign is Mission: Plastic Free Oceans. Three conferences will make up the bulk of this campaign launch.
The first, a high-level roundtable discussion, will take place on April 9th. The event is closed-door to ensure a target-oriented exchange. Participation in the event is by invite only.
On April 10th, there will be a 'Science & Innovation for a Healthy Ocean' conference will be hosted to further discuss this pressing issue. This conference will assemble a panel of key actors who are willing to build consensus on a shared path towards material resource resiliency, circular economy and sustainable tourism on islands.
Finally, on April 11th, the conference 'Towards a circular economy and sustainable tourism on islands' will take place in European Parliament.