Over 3 billion people depend on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods, with an estimated market value of EUR 2 600 billion per year. Oceans are threatened. An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste and microplastics are discharged annually, threatening ecosystems, people and communities. Clean oceans are crucial for sustainable development and to address economic inequalities by increasing people’s income and improving health. Oceans absorb about 30 % of carbon dioxide, buffering the impacts of global warming. Rivers carry plastic to the oceans. Just 10 rivers are responsible for 90 % of this pollution. They are mainly located in Africa and Asia, which have limited access to regular waste collection and controlled waste disposal. Only when oceans breathe can people prosper.