Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Climate Change, Prof. John Cortes, has today signed up to the United Nations Environment Clean Seas Campaign during the World Environment Day celebrations in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar now becomes the 45th Government to join worldwide and contribute to the goals of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, a voluntary open-ended partnership of international agencies, governments, businesses, academia, local authorities and non-governmental organisations hosted by UN Environment.

By signing the pledge, the Government is now committed to pass new laws to reduce plastic pollution including the regulation and elimination of single-use plastic bags, plastic utensils and other single-use plastic materials. Further details on the measures that will be implemented as part of the local campaign to #BeatPlasticPollution will be published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Climate Change.

Signing up to the pledge also commits the Government to continue to expand its environmental awareness programme in relation to marine litter, promote recycling and encourage the public and private sectors to change and reduce the use of single-use plastic using a combination of policies.

Commenting on the initiative, Minister John Cortes stated, “Signing up to the Clean Seas Campaign highlights Gibraltar’s commitment to be part of the solution to the worldwide problem of single-use plastics. We will therefore be taking bold steps to show how a small country like Gibraltar can lead the way in preventing marine litter and help protect our coastal environment which we are so fond of in Gibraltar. The time to act is now and I am happy to announce that it is now Government policy to ban non-essential single use plastic from Government Departments, Agencies and Authorities. We will continue to lead by example and will work with NGOs and the community as a whole towards ridding the world of this plastic scourge”.