Charles declares war on plastic for Meghan’s baby: We must protect our grandchildren
Charles in plea to rid planet of waste for ‘all our grandchildren’. Our grandchildren all deserve better, we must save world from plastic scourge, pleads the Prince of Wales.
PRINCE CHARLES has urged the world to halt plastic pollution and protect our planet for children like his daughter-in-law Meghan’s unborn baby.
The heir to the throne spoke about becoming a grandfather again, pleading for people around the world to create a better future for all grandchildren.
Charles, on a nine-day tour of West Africa with the Duchess of Cornwall, made his off-the-cuff remarks at a gathering in Ghana to discuss plastic waste.
At the event held at a beachclub overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the capital Accra, Charles told civic and business leaders: “I am about to have another grandchild actually.
“I suspect quite a few of you may too have grandchildren or will do soon. It does seem to me insanity if we are going to bequeath this completely polluted, damaged and destroyed world to them.
“All grandchildren deserve a better future.”
Charles has campaigned on plastics and other environmental issues for almost half a century, but has found that much of the rest of the developed world has finally caught up amid mounting evidence that our oceans are full of plastic waste and our food is now contaminated by tiny pieces of plastic.
He said: “Surely, as we face the fact that eight million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean every year, that soon there will be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish in the sea, let alone that we are now actually eating plastic as a result of all this pollution – finding an approach to protect and conserve the ocean and develop a truly sustainable approach to the blue economy is a really urgent priority.”
The World Bank defines the blue economy as the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, while preserving the health of the ocean ecosystem.
Charles wants to create what he calls a circular economy, recycling materials much more widely, rather than what he described as “the current highly destructive linear one”.
But, he said, at least the world was waking up to the disaster.
“Even though the challenge at hand is extremely grave and very urgent – and I remember trying to raise awareness of this issue back in 1970 – there is at least perhaps some encouragement in the fact that the legacy of plastic in the environment is now very much on the global agenda and increasingly in the public consciousness,” he said. “The matter of plastic debris in the environment, in particular the ocean, is now on the agenda.
“We do, however, need to keep it there as the amount of plastic entering the ocean every year is, unbelievably, set to get worse rather than better.
“We cannot, indeed must not, allow this situation to continue.”
The Prince added: “This is not a problem that will have a devastating impact in the future, it is one that is with us now and we must show the determination, resolve and leadership to tackle and solve it within the next few years.
“A solution is achievable and simply has to be done for all our sakes – and, above all, for the long-term viability of all those species in the sea which are already suffering unbearably because of our actions.”
Charles spent around half an hour discussing the plastic crisis at the Sandbox nightclub before venturing outside to survey the Atlantic and a pristine beach below.
In the courtyard of the club, he met artists and environmental campaigners coming up with increasingly innovative uses for recycled plastic.
They included building blocks and stunning artworks made from waste materials and designed to raise awareness of recycling.
Artist Constance Swaniker, who has turned plastic collected from beaches into giant sculptures, showed Charles her work, including a 12ft sea horse.
“Every single piece is recycled plastic collected from the beach,” she said. “I thought it was a great way of raising awareness.”
The Prince was also given a portrait of himself set amid a Union flag made from recycled materials including old paint brushes, tin cans and plastic bottles.
It was made by Chineyenwa Okoro Onu, an artist and eco campaigner who runs an environmental art project called Waste or Create.
She said: “In the past year we have collected about 10 tonnes of plastic and taken it to our workshops where young people turn it into art.”
Charles told one group turning waste into 30 percent recycled plastic concrete blocks that are then used to build toilets in deprived communities: “That’s a very innovative approach.”
Earlier, Charles raised renewed concerns about climate change in a speech in Accra, saying: “No issue is more pressing, it seems to me.
“The recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which provided stark and alarming evidence that even 1.5 degrees of warming will mean catastrophic damage to the planet’s ecosystems, sent a clear signal that we must all surely heed.”
Charles urged the Commonwealth to work to combat the challenge.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK