Global Plastics Treaty

In a biggest multilateral environmental deal, 175 countries have agreed to a legally binding global treaty called “Global Plastics Treaty”, to end the plastic pollution crisis by tackling the entire supply chain of material.

Key Facts

  • The resolution on first treaty was passed at meeting of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi in Kenya.
  • First treaty directly seeks to tackle 9 billion tonnes of plastic produced since plastic age ramped up in 1950s.
  • Now, they have started working on how to implement the treaty by 2024.

Ideas that were put forward

During the meeting, two competing ideas were put forward:

  1. One idea is led by Peru and Rwanda. It encompassed all stages of life cycle of plastics, starting from production, consumption and disposal.
  2. Second idea was a far more limited deal. It focused on plastics in oceans. It was spearheaded by Japan.

Is the treaty legally binding?

Elements of the treaty are legally binding. The treat also acknowledges that lower-income countries will find it difficult to tackle plastic and pollution than high-income ones. Thus, there is a need of financing model, in order to help in curbing plastic use and waste.

Plastic waste

In 2015, world produced 381 million tonnes of plastic. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes ends up in oceans every year. Most of the waste are from lower and middle-income countries with less capacity to recycle or burn it. Ubiquitous plastic pollution negatively impacts the marine life. There are concerns that, it may affect human health too.

Plastic Waste in India

As per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates around 26,000 tonnes of plastic per day. More than 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste remain uncollected per day. India’s per capita plastic consumption is nearly a tenth of United States of America.

About UNEA-5

The fifth session of UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) was held in February 2021, in Nairobi, Kenya. This meeting was agreed during UNEA-3 in December 2017. Session of UNEA-5 took place virtually amid covid-19 pandemic, from February 22- February 23, 2021. While, the resumed in-person session of UNEA-5 took place from February 28 to March 2, 2022. The theme of UNEA-5 was “Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”.

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