The G7 summit in Québec was the focus of the world due to the trade wars and Donald Trump’s outburst towards allies but there was something good that did come out of the summit, a move to make the oceans healthier.
The official communique reveals that the G7 has agreed to work together to safeguard the world’s oceans and its coastal communities from a range of threats, including pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Unfortunately for the planet, Donald Trump and the United States did not partake in the G7’s Ocean Plastic Charter, part of the overall blueprint of moving towards a cleaner and healthier ocean.
The only bit that the United States even acknowledged about the goal of bettering our planet is that there was a footnote on the charter that said they, “strongly supports health oceans, seas, and resilient coastal communities,” while also making sure they expressed their reservation about the climate-related language in the blueprint.
The United States was not the only country to skip out on the important discussions as Japan chose not to partake. It remains unclear at this point why Japan went this route.
The oceans are frankly in a terrible place. Humans are doing just about everything they can to destroy it whether its intentional or unintentional. At the current pace, plastic in the ocean is expected to triple by the year 2025 as well as outweigh all fish in the ocean by 2050.
Not all news is grim as countries across the world are making a effort to reduce plastic use and clean up rivers, streams and the ocean. One encouraging example is India who recently made the decision to ban all single-use plastic by 2022.
The G7 Ocean Plastic Charter is an exciting and encouraging step forward even without the U.S. and Japan. Already, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, UK, and the European Union have committed to a more efficient and sustainable approach to plastics but still with plenty of room to grow in terms of protecting the environment.
The first goal is to make plastics 100 percent reusable, recyclable, or recoverable by 2030. The second goal is to promote local awareness and research efforts to both recapture and recycle plastic and to investigate the impacts of plastics on marine and human health.