Pressure group Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) has launched an Ocean and Climate Petition, calling on the UK government to ensure that the ocean is placed at the centre of climate discussions at the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26) this November.
The call follows release of the SAS Ocean and Climate Report (PDF) which, among other things, highlights the role of plastic production in global warming.
Almost all plastic is derived from fossil fuels such as oil and gas, says the report.
Not only does the process of extracting and transporting those fuels and manufacturing the plastic creates billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases, it explains, but our single-use plastic culture sees the majority of plastic either incinerated or added to landfill.
It is estimated that the production and incineration of plastic has pumped more than 850 million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. By 2050, those emissions could rise to 2.8 billion tonnes.
“Without addressing the plastic crisis, we cannot mitigate climate change” is the stark message.
If you’re interested in signing the petition, it’s available here.