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Plastic pollution prompts warning over ‘perfect storm’ at sea

A general view of plastic straws, as environmentalists have backed a new campaign calling on both the Scottish and UK governments to crack down on the use of plastic drinking straws. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 8, 2018. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has given its backing to SNP MSP Kate's Forbes' Final Straw campaign as it was officially launched. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Straws. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

The United Nations Patron of the Oceans, Lewis Pugh, has urged all Gibraltarians to stop using single- use plastics such as straws as the world faces a ‘global emergency’ regarding the state of its seas.

Mr Pugh, who was involved in the campaign to end the National Day balloon release, has in the past praised Gibraltar’s growing focus on global environmental issues.

“Be under no illusion, we are now in a perfect storm,” Mr Pugh said.

“Three factors - climate change, pollution and over fishing - threaten our oceans like never before.”

“It would be no exaggeration to say that we are facing a global emergency.”

His comments come in response to Chronicle questions on a campaign started by the Nautilus Project on the Rock called #Pawsoffstraws, which mirrors a campaign in the UK led by SNP MSP Kate Forbes called Final Straw, as reported in yesterday’s paper.

Mr Pugh believes that world leaders have been very slow to pick up on the crisis as it is happening out of sight in the oceans.

“There is no place in modern society for single use plastics. I urge all Gibraltarians to stop using single use plastics - from straws to single use coffees cups, balloons, cutlery, plastic bags and the like,” he said.

“We can do this, but it will take a concerted effort from Government, business, and most importantly members of the public.”

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