Over 200 Countries Sign Resolution To Stop Plastic Waste In The Ocean

December 8, 2017

200 countries agree to stop plastic in oceans

More than 200 countries signed a U.N. resolution in Nairobi on Wednesday to eliminate plastic pollution in the sea, Reuters reports.

Approximately eight million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean every year, killing marine life and entering the human food chain, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) said.

Under the resolution, countries agreed to start monitoring the amount of plastic they put into the ocean.

"We now have an agreement to explore a legally binding instrument and other measures and that will be done at the international level over the next 18 months," Norway's environment minister, Vidar Helgesen, told Reuters.

China is the biggest producer of plastic waste but has started making efforts to cut down.

"If there is one nation changing at the moment more than anyone else, it's China ... the speed and determination of the government to change is enormous," UNEP head Erik Solheim said.

39 governments announced new commitments to reduce the amount of plastic going into the sea. Chile, Oman, Sri Lanka and South Africa announced measures including plastic bag bans, new marine reserves and drives to increase recycling.

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