10 October 2017

Will the Handy Shipping Guide Freight Directory Need to Add Yet Another New Country?  

Appeal to the United Nations to Ratify Trashy Island Nation

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Shipping News Feature PACIFIC OCEAN – Over five years ago we wrote an in depth look at how plastic waste is one of the greatest, and most insidious, threats to our planet. Since that time it seems that very little has been done to curb the vast amounts of rubbish adrift in the world's oceans, forming the giant gyres which, carried by oceanic currents, for a swirling mass of debris, a danger to both shipping and particularly to the life which relies on the clean waters to survive. Now a proposal to register one of these vast areas as an island nation is being lodged with the United Nations.

The slow breakdown to molecular level of a vast array of man made products is gradually working its way up the food chain, poisoning and modifying the very smallest of creatures which in turn have the ability to afflict the higher life forms which rely on them as a food source.

This of course is in addition to the obvious devastation to creatures such as sea turtles, trapped in drifting nets or whales swallowing plastic bags which see them slowly starve to death. As you read this, obscene amounts of plastic are making their way into the oceans, in total eight million tonnes a year or a rubbish truck full of plastic every minute. There is now so much of it, an area the size of France has formed in the Pacific Ocean.

With seemingly no one paying attention to this catastrophe LADbible, alongside the Plastic Oceans Foundation have come up with the revolutionary idea of effectively colonising this giant gyre, or more precisely taking this country sized trash patch and turning it into the world’s 196th country – named the Trash Isles.

In order to do this the partners raised an online petition requesting signatures from voluntary ‘residents’ of the new country, a petition which at the time of writing sees over 136,000 new ‘citizens’ registering their status. The idea is to pressure the United Nations into approving an application containing a Declaration of Independence and recognising the Trash Isles which, if successful, means the world’s newest island state will be protected by the UN’s Environmental Charters.

The petition is destined for delivery to UN Secretary General António Guterres and, for a country that now has more citizens than some countries, Greenland, Monaco and Tonga to name a few, it seems numbers count and the move brought a, not altogether positive, response this week from Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for The United Nations Secretary-General who in answer to a direct question said:

”I think it is a very innovative and creative way to bring attention to a problem that is often not seen giving the location of these piles of trash, but a problem of polluting the oceans and killing life in the oceans. It’s a very important one it is creative and innovative. But the chances of it being accepted are fairly… nil.”

The campaign has received public support from the likes of such luminaries as former US Vice President Al Gore and British Olympian Mo Farah and Mr Dujarric’s comments on the matter can be seen in full here whilst a brief, hard hitting video of the situation we face can be viewed here.

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