The push to implement a Global Plastics Treaty is gaining momentum, with particular pressure from small island nations faced with the biggest threat from a growing tide of waste.
Over 100 nations have already voiced their support for the scheme, and in March this year the first of four dialogue sessions was held by the Ocean Plastics Leadership Network alongside WWF and Greenpeace.
Governments also received pressure to put the Treaty on the agenda ahead of the G7 summit – with major packaging waste-producers including Nestle and Aldi adding their voices to an open letter supporting a global treaty aimed at cracking down on plastic pollution.
The letter also noted the pandemic’s impact on plastic waste – with PPE and masks contributing a large percentage of waste in the last year.
“Fundamentally, governments will not be able to do what they are supposed to do if they can’t count on an international partnership and international framework. It is not going to work,” says Hugo-Maria Schally, head of the multilateral environmental cooperation unit at the European Commission. “It is a concrete problem that asks for a concrete solution and a global agreement will provide that.”
To date, 75% of all plastic produced goes into landfill, and production of the material is only expected to grow – with current figures anticipated to triple by 2050. Research reported in the National Geographic found the amount of plastic that finds its way into the ocean will rise to almost 29 million metric tons by 2040.
Preliminary talks to pursue more stringent plastic restrictions are already underway, with the expectation for in-person meetings to happen at UNEA 5.2 in Nairobi, where treaty discussions can begin. Other meetings have also been held by countries such as Ecuador, Germany, Ghana and Vietnam – adding to a rising call for the expectations to become reality.
“With governments around the world keen to join forces to stop this toxic material from polluting our children’s future, now is the time to step up the pace. We need to accelerate real action,” says Sian Sutherland, Co-Founder of A Plastic Planet.
“The members involved in the G7 Summit have shown they can drive powerful change, as seen with the Paris Climate Agreement, and they can do the same for plastic pollution. If the government wants to be a world leader in tackling plastic, it must put a global plastics treaty on the agenda.”