The current plastic waste crisis needs as much publicity and attention as it can get – and, fortunately, it is getting it more and more. A new campaign launched by the British media group LADbible aims to make a strong and lasting impression in the matter – by making patches of plastic trash recognized as a country, its accumulated amount being very comparable in size.

As part of the initiative, the group wants to have the so-called Trash Isles in the middle of the Pacific Ocean recognized by the United Nations as the 196th country in the world. What makes the isles stand out is, of course, that it’s not made of land but heaps of plastic waste – heaps the size of France and still growing!

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The idea might sound very strange, but it has the potential to draw official attention to the burning problem of plastic waste. “What better way is there to get world leaders to take notice of a problem than to stick it in front of their faces? Literally so – our application has to be read by all members of the UN Council,” writes LADbible.

Another part of the campaign is the fact that gaining nation status would offer the Trash Isles protection under the UN Environmental Charters. That is, if the isle became a country, other nations would be obliged to “co-operate in a spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem” – and clean them up.

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The LADbible states that, within the campaign, the Trash Isles now meet all of the requirements for becoming a country, although the details are not clear, the criteria being, among others, the existence of a government and a population. The isles are also meant to have the things every “real country” needs, including an official flag and a currency – called “debris.”

Among the campaign’s supporters are Al Gore (the country’s first honorary citizen) and British Olympic distance runner Mo Farah. The group has also launched a petition to accept the Trash Isles as an official country.

No matter what results it will bring, the project is an interesting – and much needed – marketing campaign for a better strategy and mindset when it comes to the production of and dealing with plastic. Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic and 8.8 million tons of it end up in the oceans. The dangers the plastic pollution creates are very real and close to each of us – even if it seems otherwise.

To learn how to minimize your plastic waste footprint, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

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Lead image source: Rich Carey/Shutterstock

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