Global agreement against plastic litter in the environment

Global agreement against plastic litter in the environment

28.03.2022

At the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) on 2 March in Nairobi, the representatives of the member states launched a legally binding international agreement against plastic pollution of the environment, for which it received much praise from politicians, environmental protection organisations and industry associations. The World Plastics Council as well as the German associations of the chemical and plastics industry all expressed a positive view of the agreement.

 

The resolution made in Nairobi provides for an intergovernmental negotiating committee that aims to negotiate the legally binding content of the international agreement so that it is ready for a vote by the end of 2024. The aim is to put an end to plastic pollution on land and in the seas with the aid of mandatory measures, and thus to focus on the complete life cycle of plastic from its production and use to its disposal and recycling. In addition to this, the countries should subsequently be able to lay down further voluntary measures. The negotiating mandate also includes agreement on control measures and aid measures for poorer countries.

 

Politicians and other institutions like the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) talk of a "historic decision". The plastics industry is also, according to Anne-Gaelle Collot from the World Plastics Council (WPC), "very happy" with the resolution in Nairobi. The German chemical and plastics industry has also expressed its approval of the global agreement. The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) and PlasticsEurope Deutschland emphasised in a statement that they consider decisive measures that mandatorily strengthen the recycling and product design of plastics to be the correct response to the plastic waste problem. Germany's Plastics Packaging Industry Association (IK) is convinced that an agreement of this kind is an important milestone on the way to a changed, positive treatment of plastics. It says that science, community spirit and commitment should form the framework of the agreement. The IK considers the planned expert and science council, which will aim to check the options for action for their consequences and ensure their feasibility, to be a key aspect.

 

Sources:

  • FAZ (Mar. 3, 2022)
  • PM von IK (02.03.2021) und PM von VCI/PED (Feb. 28, 2022)
  • Photo: © unep.org

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