World Oceans Day – millions worldwide take action against single-use plastics

Millions of people around the world have been inspired to take action against single-use plastics in the lead up to World Oceans Day on June 8th 2018.

world oceans day logoYoung people in particular are making their voices heard in a concerted effort to kick-start positive change.

Last year saw over one thousand World Oceans Day events at aquariums, zoos, schools, businesses and more in 118 countries. The buzz on social media reached almost three billion people.

This year, the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council has been instrumental in raising awareness and helping communities make a difference. Young people are inspiring others to prevent plastic pollution and help create solutions for a more sustainable society and a healthy ocean.

Many are also pledging to reduce their use of plastic straws, bags and bottles, which are the ‘big three’ causing serious problems for the marine environment.

Young people are leading the charge for positive change

According to Bill Mott, Executive Director of The Ocean Project, which has coordinated World Oceans Day internationally since 2002, youth engagement is a top priority and a ‘key to success’:

“This year we are seeing young people step up in huge ways to help lead the charge for positive change,” he said.

world oceans day action against single-use plastics

“We all need a healthy ocean to survive and young people are increasingly taking action now to conserve and restore this vital resource. With nearly half of the world’s population under age 25, it is imperative to empower young people to step up as leaders at an early age, and engage them in a solutions-oriented approach to ocean conservation.”

The World Oceans Day Youth Advisory Council is made up of 20 young people (aged 15 – 23) from 17 diverse countries. The team provides new and unique perspectives, ideas and recommendations for creating a better future.

“Our generation is the last one that has the opportunity to save our planet before it is too late,” stated Kehkashan Basu, Youth Advisory Council member from Canada. “However, to achieve this, young people must first be made aware of the issues and then be empowered so they can take action at a local level to protect their immediate environment.”

Main image credit: NOAA-CREP