Blue awakening as Latin America and Caribbean states say no to plastic
From the remote Galápagos Islands to the humid depths of the Amazon forest, governments are cutting back on plastic, citizens are cleaning beaches, and innovators are seeking alternative products as part of a region-wide movement to turn the tide on plastic pollution.
Awareness of the need to act is growing in a region that is particularly vulnerable to marine litter - the Caribbean is the second most polluted sea in the world - and to other environmental threats caused by our changing climate, such as increasingly powerful storms.
João Malavolta, an environmentalist and founder of Brazil’s Ecosurfconservation group, says there has been a public awakening, particularly among wealthier consumers, but all levels of society need to be engaged.
“We need to create a new social pact on the use of plastic in people’s daily lives,” he said. “This should include educating children and young people on conscious consumption, creating legal mechanisms to make plastic products more expensive and using mass media, influencers and personalities to enhance warnings about the impact of indiscriminate use of plastics.”
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