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Key players support plastic pollution elimination by 2040

Mehedi Al Amin from Paris, France
28 May 2023 15:52:56 | Update: 28 May 2023 18:23:24
Key players support plastic pollution elimination by 2040
— Courtesy Photo

Voices are becoming stronger to achieve a complete elimination of plastic pollution by 2040 by refusing, reducing, recycling and introducing the use of plastic alternatives.

The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on plastic pollution including the marine environment (INC-2) on the way to achieving a global treaty against plastic pollution starts in Paris on Monday.

In February 2022, UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) requested the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director to convene an INC to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.

The High Ambition Coalition, a group of 72 countries chaired by Norway met on May 26 in Paris. On that day Japan also joined the group.

This coalition decided they will negotiate demanding a complete elimination of plastic pollution by 2040. On the other hand, another important negotiation group, the European Union will urge a legally binding treaty for the total elimination of plastic pollution.

Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission on May 26 stated Commissioner Sinkevičius will represent the Commission at the high-level meeting organised by the United Nations.

"With plastic production forecasted to triple by 2060, the EU will call for legally binding provisions to address the production of primary plastics, with a view to making production and consumption sustainable," the statement said.

Shahriar Hossain, secretary general of the Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO) who attended the High Ambition Coalition told The Business Post "Along with 72 countries, mostly developed countries, Japan joined the group aiming for complete elimination of Plastic pollution by 2040. The United States of America also agreed in principle but yet to join the group.

"The coalition also wants to play an active role in production reduction considering the environmental and human health hazards caused through the whole life cycle of plastic," he said.

Six separate regional negotiating groups set on Sunday to finalize their position before starting the main negotiation. Asia Pacific, European Union, Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Australia, Canada and USA are in another group.

According to the UNEP latest report released on May 16, around 80 per cent of plastic pollution can be eliminated by 2040 and r$4.5 trillion investment cost can be saved.

In a circular economy, reuse will reduce plastic pollution by 30 per cent and recycling will reduce 20 per cent while sustainable alternatives will reduce it by 17 per cent.

It also said, 30 per cent of short-lived plastic products are avoidable and can be reduced.

More than 1,000 delegates from governments, NGOs, industry, and civil society will discuss with the aim to conclude by the end of 2024 a new legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.

However, Shahriar said, "The manufacturers and suppliers of plastic goods need to rethink and restructure their business by giving priority to plastic alternative materials."

"Hundreds of chemicals are used in plastic products that have a health hazard risk. So the world wants to get rid of plastic pollution, he added.