Sailing Community Introduces New Platform to Fight Plastic Pollution & Climate Change

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It’s no secret that humans produce and use far too much plastic. The more than 400 million tons generated each year is polluting our planet and choking our oceans.

The plastic crisis is so great that 80 percent of marine debris — from microplastics to fishing gear — is made from plastics, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

A new initiative, SailGP vs Plastic, aims to combat the climate crisis by raising awareness through a group of individuals who have a special relationship with the ocean — the sailing community.

Launched by Parley for the Oceans and the Australian SailGP Team, the campaign aims to fight plastic pollution and its connection to climate change through a free, centralized platform designed to educate, engage and inspire action.

“Together with Parley, we’re aiming to start an impactful movement within the SailGP community and among ocean lovers nationwide, to advocate for a low-carbon future, promote sustainable solutions, and ultimately protect the environment,” said Tom Slingsby, Australia Team CEO, in a press release from Parley for the Oceans and SailGP. “While it’s about raising awareness of the current climate challenges both locally and globally, we also want to inspire real action against plastic pollution and encourage eco-friendly practices, ensuring our oceans thrive for years to come.”

The platform, developed by Parley experts and educators, offers educational materials along with information about community and collaborative activities like local beach clean-ups. On the site, visitors have the opportunity to discuss issues and solutions related to climate change while learning more about them.

“Together, Parley and the Australia Team hope the platform will also educate fans and the public that plastic pollution is a global crisis that not only contaminates our waterways and escalates biodiversity loss, but it is also a major emitter of potent greenhouse gases that drive climate change,” the press release said.

Because 99 percent of plastics are made from fossil fuels, their production, use and disposal contributes to global heating. According to IUCN, every year a minimum of 14 tons of plastics enter the world’s oceans, where marine species ingest or become entangled by the debris, leading to serious injuries and death.

“If the plastic industry was a country, it would already be the world’s fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter,” Parley for the Oceans said. “This platform provides more information on the impacts of plastic on our environment and equips the global sailing community with opportunities and tools to become part of the solution.”

A goal of the SailGP Impact League is to make sustainability action an essential part of sports.

“Sailors know the seas – and they know the impacts of plastics and climate change are real. Who better to push for the transformation away from fossil fuels than problem-solvers who are already at the helm and collaborating with the elements?” said Cyrill Gutsch, Parley’s founder and CEO, in the press release. “With SailGP vs Plastic, and through our ongoing alliance with the impact league, we’re making ocean education and experiences more accessible to new audiences, inviting sailors everywhere to explore and share the connections between plastics and climate, and empowering more ocean voices in the movement for solutions.”

This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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This article originally appeared on EcoWatch and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

Like MediaFeed's content? Be sure to follow us.