The Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution | WWF
The Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution

Posted on 08 June 2020

“It is estimated that a disconcerting 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year, and these numbers are projected to increase four-fold by 2050, with devastating effects on the fragile balance of the marine ecosystem”

NEW YORK, June 8 - WWF welcomes the launch of the Group of Friends to Combat Marine Plastic Pollution on World Oceans Day. The Group of Friends is established by 44 countries1 through their missions to the UN in New York to work collectively on global solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. WWF is delighted to be a founding member of this critical initiative and calls on all governments to join the group to establish effective, coordinated global actions and solutions to address marine plastic pollution. 

“It is estimated that a disconcerting 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans every year, and these numbers are projected to increase four-fold by 2050, with devastating effects on the fragile balance of the marine ecosystem,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. “Images of turtles eating plastic bags floating in the sea, whales starved by several kilograms of plastic debris in their stomachs and dolphins entangled in abandoned fishing nets have become iconic symbols of the impact of ocean plastic pollution. But marine plastic pollution also seriously affects fisheries, aquaculture, recreational activities, and tourism and is estimated to result in a 1- 5% decline in the benefits that humans derive from oceans—an annual cost of up to $2.5 trillion. The effects of micro and nano plastic on human health are still being investigated but are very worrying. This crisis requires a comprehensive and coordinated global response. Countries need to come together and establish a new global agreement to effectively address marine plastic pollution -- which already has the support of over 1.7 million people. The Group of Friends represents an alliance of countries serious about halting plastic pollution and contributing to healthy oceans, for a healthy planet and a healthy society.”

Notes to the Editor

LAUNCH OF THE GROUP OF FRIENDS TO COMBAT MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION JUNE 8  (WORLD OCEANS DAY)

The Group of Friends is established by countries through their missions to the UN in New York to work collectively on global solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. It is intended to advance global efforts to build deeper foundational knowledge of the plastic challenge and support the development of a global agreement that will address marine plastic pollution on a systemic level. 

Barbuda, Maldives and Norway are the co-chairs and Ecuador, Finland, France, Grenada, Honduras, India, Ireland, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Philippines the founding members of the Group of Friends. For more details: see here.

A high level launch event will take place digitally on June 8th  at 9-11 EDT

See link for further information on WWF’s plastic campaign.

 

1 Antigua & Barbuda, Bangladesh, Belize, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, The European Union, Finland, Fiji, France, Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, The Maldives, The Seychelles, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, Uruguay

 
Green sea turtle with a plastic bag
© Troy Mayne / WWF