World Sailing works to defeat plastic polution

(As amended by IHCA)

World Sailing are pleased to announce two major firsts for the organisation as the world governing body continues along its Sustainability Agenda 2030 pathway.

World Sailing has signed a memorandum of understanding with UN Environment which will see the two organisations work together to ensure the sport of sailing maintains its commitment to reducing its environmental impact whilst supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Secondly, World Sailing has partnered with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), making a pledge to join the UN Environment’s Clean Seas campaign.

The announcement was made on World Environment Day, at the Volvo Ocean Race Summit in Cardiff, Great Britain.

The Clean Seas Campaign, launched in January 2017, aims to increase global awareness of the marine litter issue and impact of litter in different parts of the world, and to implement different measures that address gaps in waste management infrastructure.

Dan Reading, Sustainability Programme Manager at World Sailing, stated, “We are thrilled that the IOC are calling on sport to join forces in reducing marine litter. As sailors, we see the problem first hand in our Oceans but all sports have a part to play. We are pleased to announce this at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit as we have already seen how single use plastic can be successfully eliminated from a sailing event.”

Sustainability Agenda 2030 was unanimously adopted by World Sailing’s Council at the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting in May. Agenda 2030 was formulated by an expert Sustainability Commission, chaired by experienced offshore sailor, Mike Golding OBE and following a lengthy consultation process within the sailing community.

World Sailing received feedback from sailors across the world and plastic pollution was identified as a key pressing issue which demanded action.

As such, one target is to eliminate single use plastic at World Sailing events (with the exception of boat branding) by 2019.

World Sailing will also be working with 145 Member National Authorities to phase out the use of single use plastics at national events and also create resources for members to train the next generation of sailors, highlighting the issue.

World Sailing will also be working with partners in the marine industry to identify and find alternative solutions to single use plastic where it is used within the sport.