Dear International Marine Debris Conference: Stop Sucking Up to the ACC!

Dear International Marine Debris Conference: Stop Sucking Up to the ACC!

This morning the organizers of the 5th International Marine Debris Conference, namely the UN Environment Programme and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), released the “Honolulu Commitment” in advance of the conference being held next week in Honolulu.

Despite the fact that the conference itself includes some 40-0dd presentations related to plastic pollution, the official Honolulu Commitment, which is the primary document the public and the press will see coming out of the conference, includes no mention of plastic. The word is used not even once.

This is confusing and surprising until you visit the conference’s website and see that the top two sponsors are the American Chemistry Council–the largest lobbying group for the plastics industry–and Coca Cola, one of the top manufacturers and consumers of plastic bottles worldwide.

Help us send a message to the organizers that this sort of greenwashing will not be tolerated, particularly when it’s coming from those who are supposed to be researching and addressing the problem, no matter who is sponsoring their conference. ┬áPlease draft a letter with your thoughts, or copy the letter below into an email and send to:

Dear 5IMDC organizers:

I commend you for your commitment to a clean and healthy ocean. The choice of topics and speakers in 5IMDC demonstrates your clear understanding of the major issues facing the ocean today: There are over 40 presentations dedicated to the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean. All panels have at least one, and some have two, three or more presentations dedicated specifically to this topic.

5IMDC clearly understands the major issue facing ocean health today:  plastic pollution.

Yet in the entire Honolulu Commitment you sent out there is not ONE mention of the word plastic!
For a true commitment to ocean health we must face the truth – between ourselves, and together, to the world.
The truth does not depend on who your sponsors are; it must not be concealed by euphemisms; it must reflect the facts.

With this in mind, I request that at a minimum, the following statements be included in the Honolulu Commitment.
Acknowledgement of the fact that the major component of marine debris today is plastic pollution, with large contributions from disposable and single-use plastics.

An expression of concern that plastic pollution is increasing at an alarming rate, with major contributions from land-based sources; and that beach cleaunups do not address the root cause of the issue, but are a great learning tool in understanding the components of trash that washes ashore.

Encouragement of the major manufacturers of plastic packaging and products packaged in plastic, to step up as leaders of the solutions to plastic pollution, and to take on extended responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products.

An emphasis of the importance of reducing plastic pollution in the ocean by finding lasting solutions that address the root cause of the problem.



Category General PPC News