Delegates working to end global plastics pollution agree to craft a draft treaty
PARIS (AP) — Global negotiators have agreed to craft a draft treaty to end plastic pollution, a preliminary but crucial step toward tackling one of the most lasting sources of human waste.
Environmental advocates cautiously welcomed the outcome of five days of United Nations talks in Paris on plastic pollution but expressed concern that the petroleum industry and some governments would water down the eventual treaty. Most plastic is made from fossil fuels.
Delegates at the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for Plastics agreed Friday evening to produce an initial draft before their next meeting in Kenya in November, participants said.
The committee is charged with developing the first international, legally binding treaty on plastic pollution, on land and at sea.
A coalition of “high-ambition” governments led by Norway and Rwanda, along with environmental groups, want to end plastic pollution altogether by 2040 by slashing production and limiting some chemicals used in making plastics.
“Projections suggest that a child born today will see plastic production double by the time they turn 18, but we know that the consequences of increasing plastic production will be disastrous for our health, the planet, and the climate,” said Dr Tadesse Amera, who led the International Pollutants Elimination Network's delegation at the talks. “
The stakes are high, but we are optimistic by the growing awareness among delegates of the need for global controls.”
Countries with big petroleum industries like the US, China and Saudi Arabia are focusing instead on plastic recycling, and want country-by-country rules instead of across-the-board limits.
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