In March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) adopted resolution 5/14 titled “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an International Legally Binding Instrument.” The resolution convenes an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) to develop a new global agreement combatting plastic pollution, otherwise referred to as the global plastics treaty (GPT).
Plastics are ubiquitous in today’s world. The widespread use of plastics means plastic pollution comes from various sectors and industries, all of which use the material for bespoke applications with varying levels of risk when it comes to emissions into the environment and all of which require tailored interventions to mitigate these risks.
Plastics are ubiquitous in wild-capture fisheries and aquaculture, polluting land and sea, causing navigational hazards, blighting the coastal landscape and impacting communities and tourism when it washes ashore while often continuing to entangle and kill marine species as well as contaminating seafood for human consumption.
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.
Until the mid-1950s, plastics were precious commodities that were used and treated carefully. But in just 65 years, plastic production has increased by 18,300 per cent – fuelling a relentless convenience lifestyle that produces enormous and unnecessary quantities of waste.
Recent years have witnessed an alarming increase in the illegal trade of plastic waste, with high-income countries consuming plastic products and packaging at unsustainable rates, exporting their plastic waste to developing countries with little capacity and infrastructure to manage it.