One hundred and seventy five countries, which are parties to the United Nations Environment Assembly on Wednesday, signed a mandate that makes it legally binding to all signatories to address the entire life cycle of plastics, from production to disposal, and to end plastic pollution. The mandate will be drafted and ratified by an International Negotiating Committee over the next two years.
A Global Plastics Treaty that adheres to Wednesday’s mandate will join the Montreal Protocol, the Paris Climate Agreement and other important international environmental laws.
Historic step at UNEA 5.2. 175 countries endorse a resolution to combat plastic pollution and forge an internationally legally binding agreement by 2024. India, under the leadership of PM Narendra Modiji and Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav, has already taken decisive steps to address plastic pollution.
The mandate says that the treaty will cover the entire life cycle and not just post-consumer plastic. This is a significant shift in the policymakers’ approach to plastic, which was previously primarily focused on marine litter.
The mandate recommends that measures be taken to reduce plastic production. It is estimated that plastic production will almost quadruple by 2050 and account for 10-13% of the global carbon budget, threatening climate. It also recommends addressing plastic’s toxic burden.
Dharmesh Shah, senior technical adviser with Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment, said, The basis for negotiations were the three draft resolutions, a joint one by Rwanda-Peru endorsed by 60 countries…. To streamline the process, co-facilitators of the working group cluster, Canada and Ghana, merged texts of Rwanda-Peru and Japan, which became the base document for negotiations…