Breakthrough in the fight against plastic pollution

Breakthrough in the fight against plastic pollution

Our partners have achieved groundbreaking results in the fight against plastic pollution. On Wednesday, March 2, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) wrapped up with the historic decision to draft a legally binding UN treaty. Governments are to take action to fight plastic at every stage of its life-cycle: from extraction, production, use and recycling to its removal from the environment.

Legally binding treaty

“This is a historic moment because the global problem of plastic pollution was discussed seriously for the first time,” explains Anna van der Vliet, Research and Advocacy Officer of our partner Plastic Soup Foundation, who attended the assembly. The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) approved the resolution ‘End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument’. The impact of this decision is potentially huge, as it lays the foundation for a legally binding treaty, which will take account of the full life-cycle of plastics. The treaty text is scheduled to be finished in late 2024 and will be comparable to the Paris Climate Treaty, which was concluded by the parties in 2016.

Stop plastic pollution

“This decision forms the basis for a comprehensive approach to the plastic pollution crisis”, says Von Hernandez, Global Coordinator at global movement Break Free From Plastic.  “Recognizing that this problem must be tackled at all stages of the plastics chain is a victory for the organizations that have been fighting the pollution caused by the plastics industry for years. The #breakfreefromplastic movement is ready to make a meaningful contribution to this process and to ensure that the future treaty will help to prevent and stop plastic pollution.” Anna van der Vliet of Plastic Soup Foundation: “We are proud of the joint efforts as members of the  #breakfreefromplastic movement and hope the treaty will be impactful. But this victory is just the beginning. The real fight will start with the negotiations about the content. The devil is in the detail.” Read the press release of Plastic Soup Foundation (in Dutch).

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