EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini addresses a joint press conference of Our Ocean Conference 2017 in St. Julian's, Malta, on Oct. 5, 2017. The two-day conference aims to inspire joint solutions and gather ambitious commitments to conserve and sustainably use the oceans. Plastic pollution has been a hot topic at the meeting. (Xinhua/Yuan Yun)
VALLETTA, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- "By 2050, the oceans could contain more plastic than fish. And the poison that we throw into the water comes back to us, to our tables, in the food we eat," EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini warned Thursday.
Mogherini made the remarks at Our Ocean Conference 2017 being held in Malta. The two-day conference aims to inspire joint solutions and gather ambitious commitments to conserve and sustainably use the oceans. Plastic pollution has been a hot topic at the meeting.
According to Britain's Prince Charles, who gave a keynote speech at the conference, eight million tons of plastic waste entering the oceans annually.
"Plastic is indeed now on the menu," he said, "Wherever you swim, there are particles of plastic near you."
Attendees at the meeting don't just sit and prattle about the general principle, they put forward measures to tackle the issue.
Mogherini, on behalf of the European Commission, announced an ambitious package of 36 actions to foster healthier, cleaner, safer and more secure seas.
Of this package, the Commission committed the phase-out by end 2017 all single-use plastic cups in water fountains and vending machines in all its buildings and meetings.
Charles called for a circular economy, which allows plastic to be recovered, recycled and reused instead of created, used and then thrown away.
Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat declared that some 70 percent of plastic bottles will be reclaimed through a nationwide refund scheme by 2019.