G20 agrees on plan to reduce plastic in oceans | News | DW | 01.06.2017

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G20 agrees on plan to reduce plastic in oceans

G20 states have developed an action plan to battle plastic and waste entering the world's oceans. By some estimates, if nothing is done there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the oceans by 2050.

Every year an estimated 8 to 10 million tons of plastic enters the world's oceans. Plastic litters beaches, collects in giant garbage patches in the world's oceans and endangers sea life and coastal communities that rely on the ocean.

Now, the richest industrial and emerging economies want to tackle the issue by reducing the amount of waste that enters the world's ocean.

Meeting in the German city of Bremen for three days talks, G20 states, experts and business representatives agreed on an action plan on Thursday under Germany's presidency of the G20.

"When we want the Earth to remain a blue plant, then we must quickly stop the littering of our oceans," German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said on Thursday in Bremen. "We must act now and on a broader international level. Two or three states alone cannot successfully handle the problem."

Under the plan, G20 states pledged to take action to reduce discharges of untreated waste and plastic from sewage and rivers. At the center of the effort is to develop wastewater treatment and waste management systems across all G20 states.     

According to Hendricks, the plan also envisions building up recycling facilities in all G20 states. In the European Union, Hendricks said action needed to be taken against plastic particles in cosmetics and toiletries.

cw/bw (dpa)

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