UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that there would be more plastics than fish by 2050 if the present trends continue.

Guterres, who stated this in his message for World Environment Day, marked today, said the world was being ‘swamped’ by harmful plastic waste.

The Secretary-General is participating in the #BeatPlasticPollution challenge, in which users pledged to replace single-use plastics with reusable alternatives.

On Twitter, Guterres pledged to abolish the use of plastic bottles in his office, and he did that starting on Monday, removing all plastic bottles from his office, conference rooms and Department for Public Information.

He said: “‘#BeatPlasticPollution’ is the motto of this year’s World Environment Day. Here in my office, we are abolishing the use of single use plastic bottles for water”.

The UN chief said the world must unite to “beat plastic pollution” now, noting that microplastic particles in the ocean, “now outnumber stars in our galaxy”.

“We all have a role to play in protecting our only home. Our world is swamped by harmful plastic waste.

“Every year, more than eight million tonnes end up in the oceans. If present trends continue, by 2050 our oceans will have more plastic than fish,” he said.

Guterres said a healthy planet was essential for a prosperous and peaceful future, pointing out the astonishing comparison between stars in the cosmos and ocean plastics.

The secretary-general underscored that “from remote islands, to the Artic, nowhere is untouched”.


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