Plastic Summit Could be Most Important Green Deal since Paris Accords

Image credit: EPA

World leaders will come together both in person and online for a meeting hosted in Nairobi, Kenya next week to discuss the first global treaty to combat plastic waste.

It would mark the first ever global treaty to fighting plastic waste worldwide. 

Director of the UN Environment Programme Inger Andersen said that an agreement at the UN assembly could be the most important environmental pact since the Paris climate accord was signed in 2015. 

Andersen said that the public is growing in its disgust and impatience over mountains of plastic waste. She said the meeting shows an unprecedented degree of focus among leaders that could result in a blueprint for a legally binding treaty. 

The United States generates more plastic waste per person than any other country in the world. Earlier in February, the U.S. joined France in calling for a global agreement. The two countries said the agreement needs to recognize the importance of curbing plastic waste at the source.

The fifth UN environment assembly will be held from February 28 to March 2. A key goal is to hash out terms for an agreement on plastic, and to form an intergovernmental negotiating committee in order to broker the final deal and make it legally binding. Two main resolutions will be presented to negotiators in Nairobi. One from Rwanda and Peru, and the other from Japan, and backed by Cambodia, Palau and Sri Lanka. 

Only nine percent of plastic waste is recycled, with enormous mountains of plastic waste littered around the world on both land and sea. If the UN does not sign a treaty to curb the production and use of plastic, pollution in the oceans could quadruple by 2050. There would be widespread ecological damage. 

Andersen said that since the 1950s, the world has produced around 9 billion tonnes, and 7 billion tonnes of that is waste, which does not disappear. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.