With 8 million tonnes of plastic ending up in the world’s oceans every year, a conference held in Nairobi this week represents a move to combat what is now seen as one of the biggest environmental challenges we face. Several yacht sector companies, including Fraser Yachts and Lürssen to name but two, are sharing in initiatives to support this challenge.
At the Nairobi conference run by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), a resolution was passed by over 200 countries to start a fight back. While the resolution itself has little power, the level of support for it is a source of hope that a legally binding treaty might follow.
The severity of the danger has been highlighted in recent weeks by the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 programme, where research found that fish in some of the deepest ocean trenches were contaminated with plastic. UN estimates suggest that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish if efforts are not made to reduce dumping.
Norway’s Environment Minister, Vidar Helgesen, was quoted in a Reuters report, saying: “There is very strong language in this resolution. We now have an agreement to explore a legally-binding instrument and other measures and that will be done at the international level over the next 18 months.”
Lürssen has supported the work of a charity sharing in the fight against plastic, while Fraser Yachts announced at the Monaco Yacht Show a number of initiatives to celebrate its 70th anniversary which includ support for one or more organisations working to reduce plastic in the sea.