SEPANG: If everyone adopted the simple habit of picking up rubbish, this alone can greatly help keep the beaches and oceans clean, says European Union ambassador Maria Castillo Fernandez.
“We have to do it together. Oceans do not have borders, so we have to team up.
“This is something that we share as citizens and this is about the future of our younger generation,” she said during a clean-up project at the Bagan Lalang Beach here in support of the EU’s #OurOcean campaign all over the world.
“People do not realise how simple actions such as picking up rubbish can be a big thing for the environment,” added the head of delegation to Malaysia.
Some 100 people, comprising ambassadors from the Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Sweden and Denmark, staff from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry and students from Universiti Kuala Lumpur were involved in the Bagan Lalang clean-up.
The Our Ocean conference will be held on Oct 5 and 6 in Malta, where global leaders are expected to commit to new actions to ensure sustainable fisheries, mitigate climate change impacts, announce new marine protected areas and to fight marine pollution.
Figures from the European Commission’s Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Department showed that 10 million tonnes of rubbish are dumped into seas every year, which is around 400kg a second.
It also forecast that there could be more plastic than fishes in the sea by 2050 and 99% of birds could have ingested plastic.
It also stated that millions of marine animals die every year due to the irresponsible behaviour of humans.
Unesco figures on marine pollution revealed that plastic debris itself caused the deaths of more than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year.