On 2nd March 2022, at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, UN member states, including the UK, agreed the adoption of a mandate to discuss a new treaty to tackle plastic waste and pollution. The treaty also hopes to tackle marine plastic pollution, as the amount of plastic in our oceans continues to grow.
Plastic Pollution is one of the most critical environmental issues of our time, with as little as 16% of plastics being recycled worldwide. The contribution of the remaining 84% going to landfill land and our oceans is a huge loss of resources and is a devastating contribution to climate change.
This is landmark shift, as this would be the first agreement focussed around tackling plastic pollution globally and from a life-cycle approach, making it highly welcomed news within the industry and for those 2 billion people who do not have access to solid waste management services as we do in the UK. Despite there still being a lot to discuss, the proposed treaty highlights the importance of the circular economy, promoting the sustainability of products and packaging with increased significance on effective waste management and resource efficiency. The treaty will encourage action amongst stakeholders and the private sector to enable reuse, remanufacture and recycling, retaining the products / packaging in the economy for as long as possible.
The announcement of this treaty is just the beginning, with many factors to address as part of the negotiation process, including the consideration of legally binding elements and providing a global common vision that will align stakeholders and strengthen global coordination to address plastic pollution and achieve the desired outcome.
The UK is already into process of developing a Deposit Return Scheme following the open consultation in 2021, which will greatly increase the amount of recycled plastic bottles, preventing them reaching landfill. Therefore, the addition of this treaty, hoping to be produced by 2024 will be another step taken in fighting global plastic pollution.
If you would like start your waste management / packaging resource efficiency journey and contribute to the Circular Economy get in touch with our team on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01756 794 951.