Federal Minister for Climate Change Senator Sherry Rehman on Thursday urged the masses to unite this year to tackle the critical issue of plastic pollution in the oceans as the oceans produce 50 to 75 per cent of the earth’s oxygen. In her message on World Oceans Day, the federal minister said the Day was being celebrated all over the world including Pakistan. Senator Rehman said the day aimed to raise global awareness of the importance of oceans and promote their conservation and sustainable management. “The entire planet’s ecology depends on the oceans. Plastic pollution is a serious threat to marine life and ecosystems. It is estimated that there are millions of tons of plastic in our oceans. Global reports indicate that 8 to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans every year,” Sherry Rehman added. “If this trend continues, one day there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans,” she said. Nature has blessed Pakistan with a marine ecosystem, harmful effects of plastic waste on our own oceans should not be ignored as Pakistan presents a 7Rs road-map to combat plastic pollution, Sherry Rehman added. “We have announced a phased ban on single-use plastic items, with the aim of reducing its consumption and encouraging the use of environmentally friendly alternatives. We have also introduced a Hazardous Waste Management Policy for hazardous waste. However, international cooperation is essential to tackle plastic pollution in the oceans,” said the Minister. She demanded that the nation take a pledge to protect the beautiful ocean on World Oceans Day.