28 Aug 2018

Pacific agrees on plan to stop waste ending up in the ocean

12:14 pm on 28 August 2018

A waste specialist at the Pacific's environment agency SPREP says consensus has been reached on a strategic plan for managing pollution in the region.

According to Earth Day about 8 million metric tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean every year.

Plastics wash ashore on the tide.

Plastics wash ashore on the tide. Photo: paktaotik2/123RF

Representatives for Pacific countries, civil society, academia and industry met in Fiji last week for the 'Clean Pacific Roundtable'.

SPREP's Vicki Hall said all stakeholders agreed to work in partnership to help solve the problem of land-based waste ending up in the ocean.

"So for example we have a Moana Taka partnership with Swire Transport," she said.

"So they're actually helping us deliver the low value waste in the countries to Australia or New Zealand so that that waste can be recycled."

Ms Hall said stopping waste from entering the ocean was crucial to saving the marine environment.

There are five massive patches of plastic in oceans around the world. The Pacific garbage patch which lies between California and Hawaii is the size of the state of Texas.

Scientists predict that by 2050 the amount of plastic in the world's oceans will outweigh the amount of fish.

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