Friday, June 2, 2023

Global call for worldwide ban on single-use plastics deemed “harmful and unnecessary”

WWF, the organization representing Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina in our country, calls on governments to support global bans and gradually eliminate single-use plastic products that are “more dangerous and unnecessary”, such as Disposable cutlery and microplastics. The request comes ahead of UN talks on a global treaty on plastic pollution, which will take place in Paris from May 29 to June 2, 2023.

The request comes within the framework of a series of new reports – requested by WWF and carried out by independent consultants Eunomia – that identify the most harmful plastic products polluting the environment, in addition to eliminating global control measures. , is necessary to reduce or reduce. Manage these plastics safely. These measures are expected to be included in the text of the treaty, which will be published in December 2023 ahead of the next round of talks.

Research offers solutions on how to address the most pressing challenges of plastic pollution under the new global treaty, dividing plastic products into two groups: those that can be significantly reduced or eliminated in the short term (Class I) and which cannot be done at present. They can be eliminated or significantly reduced, but require comprehensive control measures to promote recycling and safe management and disposal (Category II). The analysis divides products into broad categories based on the risk of contamination, which WWF says will help drive effective regulation globally, rather than legislating on individual plastic items, which can be complex and create potential regulatory gaps. can give birth to

Recognizing the complex, interconnected and pervasive relationship that society has established with plastics, the analysis also considers the potentially unintended consequences of eliminating or replacing any type of plastic on the environment, health and society. “We are trapped in a system where we can produce plastics in far greater quantities than any other country. This has created a plastic pollution crisis that affects both the environment and society,” WWF Special said the envoy Marco Lambertini.

He added that “if we don’t act now, the situation will get worse. If we continue on this path, by 2040, global plastic production will double, the amount of plastic ending up in our oceans will triple, And the total amount of plastic pollution in our oceans will quadruple. We cannot let this happen. Plastic pollution is a global problem that requires a global solution. Negotiators must heed the recommendations of this report and make them binding, comprehensive and specific. Working together to create a treaty with global regulations that could turn the tide on the plastics crisis.”

Although plastic is cheap and versatile, with myriad uses across many industries, about half of it is used to make products with very short lifespans or single-uses – but can take hundreds of years to degrade. Furthermore, most of these are used in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Research shows that by 2015, 60% of all plastics produced will have already reached the end of their useful life and will be discarded. Globally, less than 10% of plastic products are recycled.

“Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in regulating high-risk plastics, such as the prohibition or elimination of single-use plastic products; However, the regulations are fragmented and varied, and fail to address transboundary impacts on the scale needed to protect nature, people and their livelihoods from plastic pollution,” said Roberto Troya, Regional Director for Latin America and the WWF Caribbean.

“There is no logical reason to keep many of the world’s single-use plastic products in circulation when we know they are causing so much harm, polluting waterways, choking the oceans and even that are even getting into our own food. Industry has the knowledge and technology at its fingertips to provide more sustainable alternatives. We need to do our part to support this transition, foster innovation and encourage trade in sustainable alternatives. regulations and incentives are needed,” he concluded.

In this sense, Manuel Jaramillo, General Director of Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, pointed out that “Argentina has been a pioneer in this area with the enactment of a law that prohibits the addition of additional microplastics to cosmetic and oral hygiene products. The implementation of this law, which comes into force from the end of 2022, will be a relevant contribution to the commitments derived from this treaty. However, our country still owes a packaging law that establishes minimum standards for its comprehensive management, promotes reduction, reuse, recycling, recovery and ultimately its final disposal, and includes extended producer responsibility. principle is included. Plastic pollution is a global problem with local impacts that transcend borders, which is why it is imperative to achieve a coordinated global response.

Despite regulation and voluntary measures at the national level, not enough has been done to prevent plastics from infiltrating the environment, and being distributed hundreds or even thousands of kilometers from a specific location. Single-use plastics, microplastics, and lost or discarded fishing gear, known as “ghost nets,” now make up most of the plastic pollution in the ocean.

“Current patterns of plastic production and consumption are environmentally and socially unsustainable, the global elimination of high-risk and unnecessary plastic products, such as single-use plastics, is essential to reduce the amount of plastics finding their way into nature. , and focus on the transition towards a circular, safe and inclusive economy”, said Alejandra Gonzalez, WWF Plastics Policy Coordinator in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“States have a unique opportunity to develop a global treaty that effectively addresses the root causes of pollution. Paris to reaffirm its commitment to concrete proposals to protect the environment and people from the effects of plastic pollution The setting will be for the states,” Gonzalez said.

After a promising start at the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) last year, negotiators will now need to work on the details of the treaty text to more effectively and equitably address plastic pollution.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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