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Coastwatch Exhibition highlights extent of Plastics Crisis – Boylan

22 May, 2018 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has hosted an exhibition from Coastwatch at the European Parliament entitled ‘Marine Life and Litter’.

The purpose of the exhibition was to demonstrate the impact of plastic waste on our oceans and highlight fresh solutions to deal with the issue.

One of the organisers of the event was Campaigner Karin Dubsky of Trinity College, Dublin who is the founder of Coastwatch Europe and a marine ecologist. The exhibition provided marine data from Ireland gathered by citizens over a thirty-year period. Further data will be released from Coastwatch in the near future.

Ms Boylan opened the exhibition and called on both the Irish Government and European Commission to be more rigorous in addressing the plastic pollution crisis:

“I would like to congratulate Coastwatch for putting on such a creative exhibition for us this evening which has demonstrated the massive scale of plastic pollution in our oceans. Up to 500,000 tonnes of plastics coming from the EU ends up in the sea. If this continues we will have more plastics in our oceans than fish. The Irish Government and EU need to be more ambitious about tackling this problem.

“The European Strategy on Plastics must not be a missed opportunity to set binding rules and targets for industry. We are witnessing a plastic crisis and one which will not be solved by more self-regulation. There must also be real incentives for industry to make changes. Instead of seeing plastic as a disposable product, it must be seen as a valuable one. Single-use plastics must be phased-out which will require looking at alternatives.”

Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch stated:

“We need to rethink our use of plastic as there is currently no seashore in the world where you do not come across some. Coastwatch has been advocating measures to tackle the problem for 20 years.”

Ms Boylan added:

“Minister Denis Naughten needs to take a robust approach with industry in order to reduce the scourge of plastic coming from the island of Ireland. Self-regulation is not good enough.”

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