©EIA/James Wakiba

Convention on Plastic Pollution – Essential Elements: Microplastics

In March 2022, at its fifth session, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) adopted resolution 5/14 titled “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument,” convening an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) to develop a new global agreement on plastic pollution.

Negotiators must now move swiftly to agree to measures across the full lifecycle of plastic to end plastic pollution.

Among the myriad of sources of plastic pollution, the ever-increasing discharges and accumulation of microplastics in the environment is a serious global concern. Previous UNEA resolutions recognised with urgency the threat that microplastics pose to planetary health, taking a progressively expansive view that, to address the impacts on human health and the environment, interventions at the global level across the full lifecycle of plastic must be made.