“The Caribbean is the second most plastic-contaminated sea in the world after the Mediterranean Sea.  Estimations of the volume of plastic waste in this area range from 600 to 1,414 plastic items per square kilometer in different locations.”

- Report on Status of Styrofoam and Plastic Bag Bans in the Wider Caribbean, UNEP – Caribbean Environment Programme, May 2019

     

On 31st July 2019, the Global Environment Facility-funded Integrating Water, Land and Ecosystems Management in Caribbean Small Island Developing States (GEF IWEco) Project, launches a short video which takes a lighter look at the issue of marine litter and asks everyone around the world to break-up with single-use plastics.

You can view the video here: https://youtu.be/j0FHWQSAP1M  

In the Caribbean, plastic waste makes up a large proportion of debris reaching the sea from sources on land.  In the ocean it harms marine life, threatens ecosystems, health and the region’s tourism-based economy.  Plastic pollution not only diminishes the natural beauty for which the islands are known; it also compromises the role of the ocean as a provider of food, other resources, and livelihoods.

In February 2017, the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) launched the #CleanSeas Campaign to engage governments, the public, civil society, and the private sector in the fight against marine plastic litter.  It aimed to address the root-cause of marine litter by targeting the production and consumption of non-recoverable and single-use plastic by engaging citizens to address the problem in their daily lives. More than anything else, #CleanSeas aims to highlight the scale of the problem.

By April 2019, nine countries in the Wider Caribbean Region had joined sixty other nations in the #CleanSeas Campaign.  These were Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Grenada, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Several of these countries are participating in the IWEco Project which is partially executed by UN Environment’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP), Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention, the only legally binding environmental agreement in the Region.

CEP works to support implementation of the Land-Based Sources of Marine Pollution (LBS) Protocol and the Caribbean Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter (RAPMaLI).

 In 2018, it prepared a technical research brief on the implementation of Styrofoam and Single Use Plastic Bag bans in the Caribbean, and, introduced an interactive map (https://www.unenvironment.org/cep/news/blogpost/styrofoam-and-plastic-bag-bans-caribbean-interactive-map) to help in the tracking of progress. These products are being used to raise awareness, throughout the region, on progress made to reduce marine pollution from trash.

IWEco is pleased to introduce this short video which is a true Caribbean collaboration between All Biz Media of Saint Lucia, which did the scripting and videography, and Future Crab Studios of Trinidad and Tobago, which wrote and produced the song and music. This effort was also supported by the Project’s Communications Partnership. 

See www.iweco.org for more information. The video is also available in the IWEco Video Gallery: http://www.iweco.org/resources/video-gallery

 

For more information contact:

Donna Sue Spencer

Communications Specialist, GEF IWEco Project

United Nations Environment Programme | 14-20 Port Royal Street | Kingston, Jamaica

Phone: 1(876)-922-9267/9; Ext. 6225

Email: donna.spencer@un.org