Since records began in the late 1980's, over a quarter of a billion tonnes of plastic waste has been traded globally.
Virgin plastic production and consumption have reached unsustainable levels. Overproduction has meant inexpensive virgin plastic is used freely and inefficiently, with unfavourable economics for most recycling, leading to a stark discrepancy between how much plastic is produced and how much is recycled.
A global reporting and monitoring framework is sine qua non for the incoming global plastics treaty.
A global treaty (i.e. convention) on plastics will require financial resources to achieve its objectives, and many models exist in other multilateral environmental agreements from which lessons can be taken.
The toxic pollution resulting from rampant overproduction of virgin plastics and their lifecycles is irreversible, directly undermines our health, drives biodiversity loss, exacerbates climate change, and risks generating large-scale harmful environmental changes.