The Milestone of Plastic Reduction! The "Global Plastic Treaty" is on its way!
(Summary description)Nowadays, the environmental damage from plastics has been a transnational threat to the Earth. Therefore, international consensus and cooperation are essential to improve the current situation and reduce plastic pollution. As the most influential organization in the world, the United Nations (UN) passed a historic resolution about plastics at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2), held at the beginning of 2022 in Kenya.
- Time of issue:2022-12-28 09:57
Nowadays, the environmental damage from plastics has been a transnational threat to the Earth. Therefore, international consensus and cooperation are essential to improve the current situation and reduce plastic pollution. As the most influential organization in the world, the United Nations (UN) passed a historic resolution about plastics at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2), held at the beginning of 2022 in Kenya.
The First Legally Binding Plastic Treaty in History!
Representatives from 175 countries participated in the three-day UNEA 5.2 meeting to be held in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, at the end of February 2022. They had discussions on various environmental issues and passed up to fourteen resolutions. To mitigate the long-term impact caused by plastic on the Earth, one of these resolutions was to formulate the first formal and legally binding "Global Plastic Treaty" in history on March 2, 2022. It is expected to complete the formulation of the convention in 2024 to implement this global plastic control.
As the most significant international pact after the "Paris Agreement," the "Global Plastic Treaty" demands that countries and global companies lower plastic usage and stop using disposable plastic products. Furthermore, it also proposes that it is necessary to establish a standard for the entire life cycle of plastic products. According to the statistics, people produce 400 million kilograms of plastic trash annually, and with no improvement, the number will become 1.1 billion in 2050! Therefore, the resolution made at this moment is undoubtedly a significant breakthrough for the plastic reduction movement and the necessary legal measure to require all countries to fight the plastic crisis jointly.
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The Dilemma of Economics and Eco-friendly?
To reach a consensus among nations and implement the norms of the Global Plastic Treaty, the UNEA announced that there would establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee to discuss the details of the Treaty. However, there were two inverse opinions on the first negotiation in Uruguay on November 28, 2022.
The world's largest plastic production countries, such as the US and China, supported adopting the way of Paris Agreement, which allowed each government to implement corresponding plans to their situation instead of setting up a standard for all the countries. On the other hand, the EU and many African countries emphasized that due to the lack of a consistent standard, the plastic reduction can only rely on voluntary measures, resulting in an ineffective result. Not to mention that plastic pollution is already too severe to handle by a few nations.
From the negotiation, we can observe that many difficulties still exist despite a consensus about mitigating environmental disasters. Thus, the UN is supposed to play an essential role in coordinating all countries to set up the pact and put the people on the right path to a plastic-free life.
The Impact of the Treaty
Although the Global Plastic Treaty is still a hot topic, it has already greatly influenced the world. For example, not only the multinational food corporations like Pepsi and Nestle gradually replace disposable plastics with recyclable packaging materials, but investors have also taken ESG performance as a vital factor of enterprise evaluation. Moreover, the petrochemical industry actively develops the possibility of industrial transformation. Those phenomena show that global citizens attach great importance to plastic reduction and put it into practice!
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We can't eliminate plastic pollution only with the written Treaty; however, it certainly shows the right way to get rid of plastics in the future. Most importantly, we must develop our environmental awareness and proactively say no to plastic products because the law is just the lowest limit. Hence, combine the strength of all, and let's step forwards on the road to a plastic-free world!
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