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Food and Beverages | Sunday, January 09, 2022
Plastic bags may remain intact for years in the marine environment. Plastic products certified to be industrially compostable are no solution for littering, as they do not degrade efficiently in the environment and continue to pose a threat to wildlife as they break down
FREMONT, CA: Images of albatross chicks and marine turtles dying slowly as a result of ingesting plastic bags and other rubbish have etched themselves into our minds. Despite this, our widespread contamination of the world's seas and oceans, fueled by single-use plastics and disposable consumerism, continues to worsen.
Every year, plastic garbage is estimated to kill over a million seabirds, 100,000 marine animals, and countless sea turtles. Plastics, with all of their benefits and promises, have revolutionised societies and economics since their invention in the 1950s, but 8 million tonnes of plastic material currently end up in the oceans each year. Waste plastic degrades into microplastics, which enter the digestive systems of the sea and terrestrial animals as well as people, accounting for up to 80 percent of all marine trash from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. The water we drink, the salt we eat, and the air we breathe all include invisible plastic. Long-term effects, such as cancer and reproductive system impairment, are still being studied by experts. In terms of ocean pollution, poisoning, and entanglement, the fishing industry, maritime operations, and aquaculture all leave a significant legacy.
NGOs complain that oceans are always neglected and taken for granted. They usually take several risks to save whatever they can. Experts are planning to attend the IUCN World Conservation Congress, where government, civil society, and indigenous peoples' organisations from around the world will join debates to set priorities and promote conservation and sustainable development action. Member organisations of the International Union for Conservation of Nature meet every four years — this Congress has been postponed because of the Covid outbreak – to decide on significant issues that would determine humanity's response to the planet's conservation concerns. This Congress in Marseille offers both in-person and virtual participation options, allowing people who are unable to attend the entire Congress in Marseille to participate in debates and submit comments.