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  • FILE PHOTO: A boy searches for fish in the polluted sea backwaters near marina beach in the southern Indian city of Chennai July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Babu/File Photo

    FILE PHOTO: A boy searches for fish in the polluted sea backwaters near marina beach in the southern Indian city of Chennai July 3, 2013. REUTERS/Babu/File Photo

Published 30 April 2019

“I don’t have kids yet, but, I want my babies to be able to swim in the ocean. … without worrying about being poisoned. We’re poisoning our planet, we’re poisoning ourselves.”

Governments, artists and representatives of the U.N. came together to announce the start of the “Play it Out” global campaign and concert to eradicate contamination from plastics that end up in the world’s oceans and all over the planet’s surface.

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Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Ashanti is one of the best-known artists to sign onto this project, which was been devised as a way to raise awareness about environmental pollution from plastics.

At a press conference at the U.N., she told the press that it is necessary to make changes as soon as possible.

“I don’t have kids yet, but, I want my babies to be able to swim in the ocean. … without worrying about being poisoned. We’re poisoning our planet, we’re poisoning ourselves.”

She continued by saying that the campaign is meant to raise awareness of the magnitude of the problem which many of us can’t see. “It’s time to make a change in how we treat our planet and for people to adopt other ways of life," she explained citing her reasons for joining the U.N. initiative.

The artist will be headlining a big concert on June 1 as part of that campaign. "I hope we have a wonderful party on stage and we can convey a message about the need to fight against pollution by plastic," Ashanti said.

Among the performers are other artists like Machel Montano, Bomba Estereo, Niko and Vinz, and Rocky Dawuni, among others.

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Antigua and Barbuda's Environment Minister, Molwyn Joseph, reminded people that strong political will is also required to stop the problem saying that his country was the first in Latin America and the Caribbean to adopt strong legislation against single-use plastics.

“We must educate about this problem and change consumption patterns. … To take these first steps and create more awareness, we are going to use music and thus add more people to this environmental cause,” said Joseph.

Norway’s U.N. representative, Mona Juul, stressed that plastic pollution is one of the greatest environmental challenges.

“Millions of liters contaminated by plastics reach our oceans and we must take action as soon as possible,” she stressed.

The president of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernanda Espinosa confirmed that the majority of garbage caused by plastics ends up in the seas and oceans highlighting the leadership role Caribbean countries have taken to motivate more action.

“Most plastics and microplastics end up in the ocean and it is very important to involve new generations in this type of environmental activism,” she emphasized.

She also spoke of possibly promoting this kind of resolution at the U.N. General Assembly of the United Nations.

Every year, as reported by the U.N., up to 15 million tons of plastic trash ends up in the ocean. Most biodegrade only after thousands of years, and travel via ocean currents over long distances to wash up in places far from their point of origin.

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