- March 26, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Section: Environmental Pollution
Context: UNEA-5 in Nairobi endorsed a historic resolution to end Plastic pollution and forge an international legally binding agreement by 2024.
- The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations, establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which will begin its work in 2022.
- It is expected to present a legally binding instrument, which would reflect diverse alternatives to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building and scientific and technical cooperation.
- Approximately 7 billion of the 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic produced from 1950-2017 became plastic waste, ending up in landfills or dumped.
- Littering, mismanagement of waste streams and extreme events like floods, which are increasing due to climate change, increase the amount of plastic litter that ends up in the ocean.
- Major Chemical compounds used in plastic products include: Poly Erythrol Tetraphthalet (PET), High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE), Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), Low Density Poly Ethylene (LDPE), Poly Propylene, BisphenolA (BPA) and bisphenolS (BPS).
Impacts of Plastic Pollution:
- alter habitats and natural processes, reducing ecosystems’ ability to adapt to climate change, directly affecting millions of people’s livelihoods, food production capabilities and social well-being.
- Harm human health potentially affecting fertility, hormonal, metabolic and neurological activity.
- Open burning of plastics lead to air pollution.
- By 2050 GHGs associated with plastic pollution would account for 15% of allowed emissions under the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5o
- Marine and coastal species get affected through ingestion, entanglement and other dangers.
- Economic ramifications: since the ocean generates US$2.5 trillion in goods and services a year and contributed to 31 million direct full-time jobs prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
To know more about Plastic Pollution, refer: