300 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually globally, 8 million tonnes of which enter the oceans each year. 80% of marine plastics originates from land sources – impacting on all habitats and wild places, threatening wildlife, food safety, human health and contributing to climate change. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) considers plastic marine debris and its ability to transport harmful substances as one of the main emerging issues affecting the environment.
Plastic pollution is found in mountains, around crags, along and in rivers and lakes, forests and coastlines impacting disastrously on wildlife and blighting every type of habitat and landscape enjoyed by outdoor enthusiasts. A lot of the plastic waste will find its way to lakes and rivers and ultimately end up in the oceans where it wil degrade, releasing toxic chemicals as it does so. 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million seabirds are killed every year through entanglement or by ingesting plastic litter.
As an organisation raising money to look after the health and well-being of the planet, EOCA is committed to playing its part in achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. SDG 14 (Life Below Water) is one of those highlighted by EOCA as of utmost of relevance to its own vision and new focus as it aims to "prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution".
With this in mind, EOCA will work with its members and the European outdoor industry to clean up plastic waste from habitats from the summits of mountains to the shores of the seas, whilst also reducing their use of everyday single-use plastics. This will be in conjunction with educating and inspiring outdoor enthusiasts to get involved to combat the issues.
The headline target for this Focus is that EOCA and its members will collectively clear 3000km of habitat, trail and beach of plastic waste and pollution over the next 2 years. That is the distance from the Mediterranean coast to Lapland!
Public Fundraiser: The First Steps towards 3000 km of Clean Ups!
Since starting in 1990, Surfrider Foundation Europe has placed the problem of marine litter at the heart of its mission. It has been organising Ocean Initiatives for almost 25 years, aimed at raising awareness and educating the public on the issue of marine litter through waste collections. The overall objectives of the Ocean Initiatives programme are (i) limiting new waste generation, (ii) promoting a circular economy for 100% of generated waste and, (iii) limiting the impact of existing waste in the environment. EOCA funding will be used to fund the on-going successful beach clean programme, whilst expanding into new areas such as in-ocean cleans. 2018 broke the record for the number of participants and collections organised and this year the target is for 1000 volunteers to organise at least 1600 clean up events, mobilising 60,000 people in 47 countries, educating 100,000 people. Data on the number and type of collected items from 1195km of beach, lakes, rivers and seabeds all over the world will fuel scientific research and underpin lobbying of the EU for stricter targets on the reduction of waste and pollution entering our oceans. Click on the Surfrider Europe logo below to go to their page and find an event you can get involved in!
Every €10 donated will help us fund an area of 50 metres squared -the area of two olympic size swimming pools!- of clean ups.
You can donate and help us acheive our target of raising €30,000 for this project by using the PayPal button below.