Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution
- June 1, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution
Context: A United Nations committee met in Paris Monday to work on what is intended to be a landmark treaty to bring an end to global plastic pollution.
On March 2, 2022, representatives from over 200 countries gathered in Nairobi, Kenya for the UNEA-5. The assembly then created history when 175 countries unanimously agreed on a UN framework to fight global plastic pollution.
- Plastic pollution has been deemed as one of the most important crises of the modern world. Studies estimate there are now 15–51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans. At current rates, plastic is expected to outweigh all the fish in the sea by 2050.
- Plastic waste produced globally is set to almost triple by 2060, with about half ending up in landfills and under a fifth recycled, according to the OECD.
- The resolution agreed at the UNEA calls for global rules, financing and enforcement mechanisms aimed at regulating plastics from manufacture through disposal, all to hopefully be hammered out by the end of 2024, with the final treaty language negotiated before 2025.
- This treaty will serve as a framework for an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop a legally binding agreementmandating countries to reduce, recycle, and manage plastic pollution, particularly in the oceans, through national objectives and strategies.
- The resolution has been described by the head of the UNEP as the most important multilateral environmental deal since the Paris climate accord in 2015. Countries like India and Japaninitially held firm against restrictions on production but were persuaded to go along.
UNEP’s Clean Seas 2.0: From Source- to- Sea:
- Launched in 2017, the Clean Seas campaign engages governments, the general public, civil society and the private sector to strengthen effective action plans on marine litter and plastic pollution. Currently, 63 countries are Clean Seas signatories.
- Clean Seas 2.0 initial focus on single-use plastics and their elimination, communicating the root causes associated with the production, use and disposal of unnecessary, avoidable and problematic plastics thereby following an evidence-based approach.
- Its topic areas will cover a range of products, including packaging, ghost fishing gear, tyres and textiles.
- 0 leverages two key river-focussed UNEP projects: CounterMEASURE and Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative.
- The “CounterMEASURE” uses cutting-edge technology to identify the source of plastic pollution in river systems in Asia – primarily the Ganges and Mekong. Through a combination of citizen science, drone imaging, machine learning and geographic analyses, the project collects data and identifies plastic waste hotspots and shares it with partner organizations and governments across the region.
- Citizen science is a critical aspect of the “Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative” also led by UNEP in partnership with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative and the University of Georgia.
- UNEP and the Ellen Mc Arthur Foundation also co-lead the Global Commitment, which has established a common vision of a circular economy for plastics by 2025.
- Through the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, UNEP is developing a Digital Platform to bring together and connect actors and information to catalyse action before plastic pollution ends up in the ocean.
Existing international instruments
- The 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping Wastes and Other Matter (or the London Convention).
- The 1996 Protocol to the London Convention (the London Protocol).
- The 1978 Protocol to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL).