18 May 2018 Press release Oceans & seas

Volvo Ocean Race takes on Rhode Island

May 18th, 2018 – The Volvo Ocean Race – including the ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ boat touched shore in the United States this week, taking the opportunity to highlight the issue of marine pollution in the State of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island celebrated the arrival off the Volvo Ocean Race’s arrival with an Ocean summit, an event aiming to bring together policymakers, ocean advocates, athletes, and private sector representatives to explore solutions for the problem of marine debris and plastic pollution.

“The problem of marine litter cannot be solved in isolation,” Lisa Svensson, Global Director for Ocean at United Nation Environment said during the summit.We must all work together - governments, the private sector, civil society and individuals - towards a permanent solution. We have no time to lose. It’s time to turn the tide on plastic!”

The Volvo Ocean race is the world’s longest and toughest professional sporting event, seeing 7 boats competing in a race that takes the sailors across 4 of the world’s 5 oceans, over the span of 9 months.

Previously, the Volvo Ocean Race has stopovers in (among others) South Africa, Hong Kong and Melbourne. The Race will finish in June 2018, in the Hague, Netherlands.

The ‘turn the tide on plastic’ features the youngest crew to ever compete in the race’s 45-year history. It is also the only boat that has mixed male-female crew. While battling the 6 other Volvo Ocean 65 class race boats, the boat and its crew help to draw attention to the mass of plastic pollution ending up in our oceans, in partnership with UN Environment’s CleanSeas campaign.

The CleanSeas campaign is calling on governments, industry and citizens to end plastic pollution by eliminating single-use plastics and micro-plastics in the next decades. So far 42 countries have joined the campaign.

Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastics makes its way into the oceans. Plastic never dissolves, it is simply broken up into smaller pieces, that are easily ingested by marine life. It is estimated that by 2050, 99% of seabirds will have ingested plastic particles.
 

EDITORS NOTES

Interviews, photos and video         
UN Environment can facilitate interviews and access to the highest quality multimedia material at any time throughout the event, including interviews with the ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ crew, live updates from the boat and crew interviews during the race. The boat has a dedicated OnBoard Reporter (OBR) who will be generating daily video and photos for editorial use. UN Environment can also offer interviews with scientific experts on marine litter and its impact on our oceans.

Volvo Ocean Race
For full details on the Volvo Ocean Race visit: www.volvooceanrace.com  

About UN Environment       
UN Environment is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, the civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

About #CleanSeas    
Launched at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, UN Environment’s #CleanSeas campaign is urging governments to pass plastic reduction policies; targeting industry to minimize plastic packaging and redesign products; and calling on consumers to change their throwaway habits before irreversible damage is done to our seas. cleanseas.org