Scientists call for global plastics treaty to end plastic production by 2040

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2021-07-05 12:21:47 – None

A new science paper calls for a legally enforceable worldwide agreement that handles plastics on both sides of the supply chain, from the extraction of raw materials to the pollution left behind by their usage. The article, prepared by a group of attorneys and academics, advocates for a global convention to gradually reduce and eliminate virgin plastic manufacturing by the year 2040.

The paper advocates for circularity innovation to help remove harmful single-use plastics and replace them with refill, reuse, and repair. The Center for International Environmental Law, which was part of the expert team that authored the essay, goes into further detail on what a treaty should achieve here.

Greenpeace USA Global Plastics Project Leader, Graham Forbes, said that leading academics' appeal for a legally enforceable agreement that addresses the whole lifespan of plastic should serve as a wake-up call to the world's leaders, particularly the Biden administration. Despite the industry's best efforts to undermine a prospective global plastics pact, any deal must halt the manufacture of virgin plastic as soon as feasible to make a significant difference for our oceans, climate, and communities. The United Nations must work together to emphasise the decrease of harmful single-use plastics and a shift toward refilling and reusing.

Graham added that the efforts to decrease single-use plastics must coincide with the urgency of the climate problem, as the authors of the article point out because the two are inexorably intertwined. Plastic expansion initiatives are seen by the same fossil fuel firms that are harming our planet as a means to stay profitable. The Biden administration and other world leaders can put the fossil fuel industry on notice that their days of harming our planet are numbered by working together to develop a strong, binding global plastics treaty.

Nils Simon, one of the report authors said that plastic pollution poses a significant, albeit little understood, threat to the ecosystem, animals, and habitats, as well as cultural heritage. Its social consequences include harm to human health, particularly among disadvantaged groups, as well as significant economic implications, particularly for tourism-dependent regions.

Simon added that addressing these issues would necessitate a paradigm shift that allows efforts to minimise virgin plastic material production and includes fair steps toward a safe and circular economy for plastics.

According to the research, a new worldwide convention should be created to handle plastics on both sides of the supply chain, from the extraction of raw materials to the pollution left behind by their usage.

Plastic trash is also inadequately handled, according to report authors Sarah Kakadellis and Gloria Rosetto, with approximately 12,000 million tonnes expected to amass in landfills and the environment by 2050, mostly due to a failure to address it.

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