Today, UN Environment published its sixth Global Environment Outlook (2019) in time for the Fourth United Nations Environmental Assembly, calling on decision makers to take immediate action to address pressing environmental issues to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as well as other Internationally Agreed Environment Goals, such as the Paris Agreement.

GEO-6 outlines the current state of the environment, illustrates possible future environmental trends and analyses the effectiveness of policies. This flagship report shows how governments can put the world on the path to a truly sustainable future. It emphasizes that urgent and inclusive action is needed by decision makers at all levels to achieve a healthy planet with healthy people.

The Report finds that marine litter, including plastics and microplastics, is now found in all oceans, at all depths. Current estimates suggest that input of plastic marine litter linked to domestic waste mismanagement in coastal areas amounts to some 8 million tonnes annually, 80 per cent of which originates from land-based sources. Marine plastic litter can result in a significant ecological impact from entanglement and ingestion, and can also act as a vector for the transport of invasive species and other pollutants. Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is a major source of marine litter. Not only is ALDFG highly harmful, it also reduces numbers of fish stock and constitutes a significant economic threat, given its ability to damage maritime vessels, fisheries and ecosystem services.

GEO also calls on us to transform the path we are on and shift to a circular economy, one that uses waste as a resource. Healthy Seas welcomes this report having been working tirelessly together with our partners for many years to find solutions to combat marine litter through circular economy.

Take a look at the interactive story:

Download the GEO6 for Policy Makers here