At last year’s ICOMIA / IFBSO Congress we agreed on the voluntary implementation of our
#ReThink Plastic Campaign. Subsequently, we published the Code of Excellence supporting the
initiative on our website.
This acknowledged that boat shows are at the forefront of the entire boating / water sports
community, and that our members are already actively engaged in promoting and encouraging
ocean conservation measures via their organisations, exhibitors and visitors.
Global attention has escalated…
Since our last Congress, the focus on plastic pollution of the world’s oceans and waterways has
significantly increased, mainly due to powerful social media campaigns, and hard hitting TV
documentaries. These have graphically contrasted the stunning wonders of the natural oceanic
world, with the damage that human created waste is wreaking upon the coral reefs, and how it is
threatening the lives of sea creatures and ocean biodiversity.
Most of us are now familiar with the staggering headline statistics: 5 trillion pieces of plastic in
the oceans; 8 million tons leaked from the land every year; potentially more plastic than fish in
the sea by 2050; Over 8 billion tons of plastic waste generated in the last 50 years, from which
around 79% has accumulated in landfills, or worst still in the natural environment!
However, the level of awareness seems to have peaked in the public domain, and also in the
minds of politicians and food/drinks providers, who are quite rightly sensing the public outrage,
and taking their own actions in order to ‘turn the tide against plastic!’
During 2018, the European Union published ambitious new Directives aimed at tackling marine
litter at its source. These are intended to address more than 70% of plastic marine litter
generated in the EU, through tailored measures focusing on the 10 single-use plastic products
most found on beaches, as well as on fishing gear, and on products made of oxo-degradable
As well as the environmental costs, marine litter is unsightly and hazardous and may deter new
and potential boaters. Cleaner oceans will encourage increased uptake of boating.
IFBSO Workshop - Friday 7th June, 14.00 to 16.00
Planning for further actions…
* The boating public are receptive to ideas and initiatives!
* This is our opportunity to reach out, educate, lead by example, and help to set standards.
* We want to hear about the ideas and actions you have developed within your organisation for
fully implementing the IFBSO #ReThink Plastic Campaign.
* Our informal Workshop will enable an exchange of views and initiatives, these can be taken
forward with a common purpose, and will benefit the future sustainability of our industry.
* We will be assisted by Peter Franklin; Sustainability Coordinator for METSTRADE, and Albert
Willemsen; Environmental Consultant with ICOMIA, who will share some informative
background information about the wider issues of ocean conservation and marine biodiversity.
* Look out for our next newsletter in May, when we will announce more details,
including the names of some passionate and committed ‘Ocean Ecopreneurs’
who will join our discussion panel to kick-off the Workshop.*
Download the original copy of the newsletter here.