Fish or plastic for dinner in 2050?

Plastics in the ocean is a growing problem. In South Africa there are projects within “Marine Waste Management” to facilitate opportunities for innovation.

Research published by World Economic Forum shows that we are likely to have more plastics than fish in the oceans 30 years from now. Already mammals, birds and fish are including plastics in their diet – and it isn’t doing any of them any good!

The equivalent of one truckload of plastics is currently dumped into the oceans every minute – adding up to more than 8 million metric tons every year emanating from the world’s 192 coastal countries, based on 2010 data. Plastic production worldwide has grown steadily since then, and is expected to exceed 350 million metric tons this year.

Not enough recycling

The bad news is that only 9% of this plastic is recycled – while the remaining 91% is becoming disturbingly visible around the world.

The good news is that the international community is analyzing the health of our oceans and focusing on sustainable development goals – while national governments are implementing relevant strategies to remedy the situation.  Clearly, sustainable development of the ocean economy is essential to the future welfare and prosperity of humankind – as pointed out in OECD’s The Ocean Economy in 2030.

Opportunities for Norwegian companies

Calls for action are being issued worldwide, and the African Marine Waste Network is spearheading efforts on the African continent. The  South Africa – Norway Science Week 2017 just aimed to make a contribution – by encouraging and facilitating researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs to be part of the solution.

At Innovation Norway, the Norwegian Government’s main instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry, we are focusing on “Ocean Space” as one of six priority areas. In 2018, a dedicated project will engage stakeholders in Norway and in South Africa to explore opportunities for innovation and business development related to “Marine Waste Management”. If you prefer fish over plastics for dinner, please join this project!

For more information, please contact:

Karl Klingsheim
Innovation Norway South Africa
+27 63 693 4397
karl.klingsheim@innovationnorway.no

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