Brazil Is Responsible for at Least 10% of the Plastic Dumped Into the Sea Worldwide

The United Nations Environment Assembly, held in Nairobi this month, announced the drafting of an unprecedented global agreement to regulate plastic pollution. Plastic is the main villain of sea pollution in Brazil, according to a recent study.

About 22 million tons of plastic leak into the environment every year worldwide, of which 5 to 12 million tons end up in the oceans. (source:ISWA – International Solid Waste Association).

Brazil accounts for a considerable portion of this volume: Brazilian rivers and oceans receive more than 2 million tons/year of solid waste, in a conservative estimate, according to another survey. Almost half (48.5%), or around 1 million tons, is plastic material.

The data from this study are from the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies (Abrelpe), which, as part of the “Lixo Fora D’água Program”, has investigated 11 cities on the Brazilian coast since 2018 and has just released the survey.

Therefore, during CIRSOL, I International Conference on Solid Waste that takes place in Recife (PE), between March 16 and 20 and brings together 140 speakers from 17 countries, there will be the launch of a Guide of Good Practices for the Prevention of Trash at Sea. The guide serves to orient municipalities, industries and civil society about the most appropriate actions to contain this global problem. The three main sources of garbage leakage at sea that have been identified are the communities in irregular occupation areas near the waterways, the drainage channels that cross the urban mesh, and the beach itself in its sand strip.

Brazil does not have 10% of the world’s population, we have less than 3%. But this is our share of responsibility in the pollution of the seas. It is enough to cover 7,000 soccer fields,” explains Carlos Silva Filho, director of Abrelpe and president of ISWA. He will be one of the speakers at CIRSOL.

The area analyzed in the research includes 14 million inhabitants in the city of Santos (SP) and currently covers the municipalities of Balneário Camboriú (SC), Bertioga (SP), Fortaleza (CE), Ipojuca (PE), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), São Luís (MA), Manaus (AM), Serra (ES) and the municipalities of the Bay of Ilha Grande, in Rio de Janeiro.

It is worrisome, because this total dumped in the country can be even higher, since 30 million tons of garbage are sent to inadequate disposal, that is, dumps and uncontrolled landfills, which can lead to an additional 3 million tons of garbage in the sea every year. This is why we will discuss the issue at Cirsol and launch an unprecedented prevention guide“, concludes the director of Abrelpe.

CIRSOL’s featured speakers :

-Ailton Krenak: indigenous leader and environmentalist

-Everton de Oliveira: executive secretary of ABAS and professor at the Água Sustentável Institute, founding partner of HIDROPLAN, co-founder of the Groundwater Project, former president and current executive secretary of ABAS, the Brazilian Association of Groundwater.

-Camila Santana: Directos of impact at the UN Global Compact.

-Carlos Silva Filho: is currently Director-President of the Brazilian Association of Public Cleaning and Special Waste Companies (ABRELPE) and President of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

-Maristela Baioni: holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Development Banking from American University. She has coordinated World Bank projects with the Ministry of Education. At the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) she began her career as a program officer in the area of education and social development.

-Tião Santos: waste picker and former IDB consultant for solid waste, starred in the documentary Extraordinary Waste in 2011. Today he has his own recycling consulting company.

-Fabrício Soler Lawyer: Professor, Coordinator of the Executive MBA in ESG and Legal Advisor to the UN and CNI. Organizer of the Waste Code. Author of the book Waste Law: Jurisprudence

David Biderman: Director of Solid Waste Association of North America

CIRSOL counts on 22 highly relevant co-organizing institutions – which signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the aim of jointly producing the event. At the end of the meeting, a letter of commitment will be drafted, aligned with the National Solid Waste Plan (PNRS Law no. 12,305/10). In addition, all solid waste generated by the event will have a correct destination, as well as a monitoring and compensation system for carbon emissions. The event takes place, free of charge, in both face-to-face and online formats. Registration can be made through the conference website.

According to Ana Paula Rodrigues, president of the Institute of International Cooperation for the Environment (ICIMA) and one of the creators of the event, this is an opportunity to debate the impact of solid waste on climate change and present a proposal for a legacy that articulates all the organizations involved. “The UN Sustainable Development Goals establish goals to be achieved by 2030 and this date is very close. During CIRSOL, we will evaluate the advances in meeting these goals and define some actions for the coming years. One of the legacies we intend to leave behind is the creation of the Solid Waste Observatory to monitor the missions assumed in the commitment letter we will sign” – highlights the expert.

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