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Plastic recycling not enough to stop ocean pollution, warns Oceana
Oct 28, 2018 (Agencia EFE via COMTEX) --

Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Oct. 28 (efe-epa).- The international ocean conservation and advocacy organization Oceana on Sunday called on countries and companies attending the upcoming Our Ocean 2018 summit to commit towards reducing the production of plastic and seek alternatives, discarding recycling as a solution.

Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless urged the private sector to use other materials that do not last 1,000 years and are non-toxic during a pre-summit press conference ahead of the event to be held in Bali, Indonesia, from Monday.

"If they (countries and companies) are only promising to make things recyclable, or encourage recycling, they are not doing what they need to do," Sharpless told EFE.

According to Sharpless, global plastic production grows by an average of 4 percent each year, implying that it would double in the next 10-15 years.

The United Nations estimates that every year about 8 tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans, and which in many cases are ingested by marine animals and subsequently become part of the human food chain.

Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, is the second country after China that pollutes oceans with plastics the most, according to a study published in 2015 by the journal Science.

Canadian actor Joshua Jackson, who supports Oceana, told EFE in Bali that solving the problem with plastic begins with commitments on the part of companies along with national and international policies rather than changing people's habits.

The Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries said Sunday that Our Ocean 2018 will focus on specific commitments and seek to ensure that agreements reached in previous summits are met.

Since 2014, when the international summit was launched by the United States Department of State, the participating countries have made 663 commitments out of which 206 have been completed so far, said the Indonesian ministry.

The summit will bring together seven heads of state, 37 ministers and 2,200 delegates together with nonprofits and the private sector on Oct. 29-30 to discuss protected areas, sustainable fisheries, ocean pollution, maritime safety, climate change and sustainable economy, among other topics.

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