The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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Malta ideally placed to lead fight against plastic pollution

Malta Independent Thursday, 3 October 2013, 07:57 Last update: about 10 years ago

UK-registered charity Plastic Oceans Foundation believes that Malta is ideally placed to take the lead in resolving what is fast becoming a major threat to the environment and human health – plastic pollution.

David Jones, foundation executive responsible for sustainability and education, was recently invited to Malta by the Professional Diving Schools Association (PDSA) and he had talks with the Malta Tourism Authority, the European Parliament Information Office in Malta, the University of Malta, the Education Ministry and Malta National Aquarium.

Mr Jones also took part in an underwater clean-up at Qawra Point together with Ocean Mysteries Diving and Sharklab-Malta. The foundation hopes that the next step will be the organisation of a conference, bringing together government, business, industry, and education entities, to look at the issues and challenges with a view to formulating an action plan to bring about long lasting and sustainable change.

Plastic Oceans was formed three years ago and its mission is to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans and eventually eradicate the problem. The foundation has been producing a powerful, high-end documentary in high definition for cinematic release. The film – which should be out in early 2014 – along with the campaign, will raise global awareness to the problems of plastic pollution, highlight and promote positive solutions, empower people to become part of the solution, support the biggest cleanup the world will ever witness, provide a chance for the audience to make a difference through social networking, be the foundation for campaigns, focus on increasing the rate of change in behaviour and attitudes to plastic consumption and provide an effective and entertaining educational tool.

About 300 million tonnes of plastic – equivalent to the weight of the world’s adult population – are used around the globe every year. About half of this plastic is only used once before it is thrown away, and much of it ends up in the oceans. The plastic attracts toxins in the ocean environment and is now present in such high quantities that it is making seafood toxic and is ultimately affecting human health; it is an insidious twist to the problem of plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution gets to the oceans through poor waste management and human neglect, so it is an issue that can be solved. The foundation believes that Malta is ideally placed to become a role model for the Mediterranean region in the fight against plastic pollution.

David Jones said: "Malta has the infrastructure in place and only needs to develop a synergy between government business and industry."

Plastic Oceans wants to show business and industry leaders that sustainable strategies are not only beneficial to the environment, but also to their profit margins. People can be more sustainable and more profitable.

The foundation wants Malta to be part of what it is trying to do; the island can set a standard that all other Mediterranean countries are aspiring to achieve. Malta has the wherewithal and the resources to do something about it – it will be good for the environment, for children, for business and tourism and ultimately for the country.


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