WWF Commends UN Environment Assembly’s Watershed Decision to Start Negotiations for a Global Plastics Treaty

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

UN Member states at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) have unanimously agreed to develop a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution, making it one of the world’s most ambitious environmental actions since the 1989 Montreal Protocol which effectively phased out ozone-depleting substances.

The adopted UN resolution outlines the development of a robust treaty that allows for global rules and obligations across the full life cycle of plastic. This will hold nations, businesses, and society accountable in eliminating plastic pollution from our environments.

WWF welcomes this decision and urges the world’s governments to seize this powerful momentum for eliminating plastic pollution and act just as strongly and decisively in developing the full content of the treaty by 2024. WWF commits to support the work of UNEA’s Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee in finalising the important details of this historic treaty over the next two years.

“World leaders finally realized we need to all fight the plastic crisis together, as one of the greatest problems the world faces today. By agreeing to develop a legally-binding global plastic treaty, they are forging a path to a cleaner and safer future for people and the whole planet,” says WWF Adria CEO, Nataša Kalauz. “Even though WWF welcomes this decision, we need to highlight that this is just a beginning and a lot of work and decisiveness will be needed from many sides to achieve this treaty that should enable an efficient shift to the circular economy when it comes to plastic”.

Pressure has been mounting on governments for a legally binding treaty to address the plastic pollution crisis. More than 2.2 million people around the world have signed a WWF petition calling for this, while over 120 global companies, and more than 1,000 civil society organisations have also backed calls for a treaty.

WWF calls on world leaders to build on this overwhelming global support and today’s watershed moment by establishing an ambitious global treaty on plastic pollution by 2024 that:

  • Is legally binding with common rules and regulations that can scale up circular economy solutions worldwide;
  • Incorporates global regulations across the full lifecycle of plastics, including global bans on harmful products and actions, product design standards and measures that reduce virgin plastic production and consumption;
  • Recognises the critical role of the informal waste sector in driving a circular economy and enables the participation of this sector in the negotiations.

Source: WWF Adria