The UN has approved a resolution to create the first global treaty on plastic pollution, calling it “the most significant environmental multilateral deal since the Paris accord”.
The treaty is set to be finalised by the end of 2024, and will deliver a “legally binding instrument” to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration. The UN Environment Programme will convene a forum so stakeholders can share knowledge. It will facilitate discussions and ensure they are informed by science.
Around 11m tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans each year; scientists fear this could triple by 2040.
“Plastic pollution has grown into an epidemic,” said Espen Barth Eide, president of the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly. “With today’s resolution we are officially on track for a cure.”