Who has the power to reduce pellet pollution?
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of pollution from ships. It has the power to classify plastic pellets as marine pollutants, which would make them subject to much stricter shipping regulations – immediately.
We know the IMO is aware of this issue and that its Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) is currently considering what action to take.
Fauna & Flora is working with partners to advocate for change.
This year, 13,311 people originating from over 80 countries, signed our petition. It called on members of the MEPC to take action to end plastic pellet pollution.
The MEPC met in July 2023. Ahead of that meeting, we wrote to 15 influential representatives of this committee and shared the petition with them.
Disappointingly, despite us showing them the huge public concern there is over this issue and the clear demand for them to take action on it now, plastic pellets were not discussed at their meeting.
Unfortunately, the bureaucratic structure of the International Maritime Organization has stifled speedy progress. Decision-taking responsibilities are being passed from committee to committee, delaying action despite the urgency of this situation and despite there being a solution at hand.