Just over a year since the launch of the UN’s #CleanSeas campaign, 42 governments – accounting for more than half the world’s coastline – have signed up with many making specific commitments to protect oceans, encourage recycling and cut back on single-use plastics.
Here are some of the pledges that have already been made:
Belgium, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Panama and the Philippines are drawing up or adopting national plans and legislation to combat marine litter.
Canada, which has the world’s longest coastline, is funding community-based programmes, like beach clean-ups, and continuing critical research into the impact of microplastics. It is also drawing up regulations to ban the manufacture and sale of toiletries containing microbeads.
Indonesia has committed to reduce plastic waste by 70 per cent by 2030
Kenya, Jordan, Madagascar, Chile and France have banned or pledged to ban single-use or non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Israel aims to have 70 per cent of its beaches clean 70 per cent of the time this year and is implementing a ban on certain types of plastic bags.
Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden have committed to implement the “Nordic programme” on a sustainable approach to plastics by preventing plastic waste, encouraging recycling and promoting a circular economy
New Zealand has committed to ban products containing plastic. microbeads from June and is developing options to get rid of single-use plastic bags.
Individuals have also had the opportunity to join the campaign and nearly 80,000 people have taken the #CleanSeas pledge to get rid of single-use plastics and microbeads from their lives.
People are also cleaning beaches, cataloguing what they find, and changing their own behaviour by, for example, using cloth bags and carrying steel cups or cutlery with them, refusing plastic straws and demanding the removal of plastic cups or single-use bottles from their offices.
Read more on the campaign progress here.
Learn more about UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign.