(UnitedVoice.com) – At the UN Environment Assembly in Kenya, 175 representatives voted to develop and adopt a formal treaty on plastic pollution by 2024. The agreement starts the negotiation process that will address the entire cycle of plastic from production to disposal. Once approved, this international treaty to curb plastic pollution will offer healing and support to the planet.
About Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution has increasingly become the world’s top environmental problem. Plastic products have overwhelmed the market, and there is currently no direct solution to deal with it at the oncoming rate. Countries with low recycling rates have a challenging time discarding plastic materials properly.
In the 1950s, the world produced around 2 million tons of plastic per year. Fast forward to the present day, when we globally make more than 300 million tons each year. Annually, over 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean. These catastrophic numbers threaten the environment and wildlife in and around oceans.
Packaging generates the most waste in the plastic industry. It’s responsible for almost half of the earth’s refuse each year. Packaging also has the shortest useful lifecycle compared to other products made from this same material. Alternative materials or safer disposal methods are two solutions members involved in this international treaty will discuss.
Effects of Plastic Pollution
Marine species suffer severe injuries and death from plastic debris. Plastic is the highest source of pollution in the ocean, totaling 80% of the ocean’s waste. This pollution is harmful to animals, public health, safety, climate change, and water cleanliness.
Many countries cannot regulate and protect their waters from pollution. Components for keeping waste down include:
- Sanitary landfills
- Incineration facilities
- Recycling capacity
- Circular economy infrastructure
- Proper management and waste disposal systems
Countries that cannot properly dispose of plastic waste end up jeopardizing the health and safety of their local ecosystems, which inevitably seep out into rivers and oceans. The legal and illegal trade using plastic materials in areas that can’t get rid of it properly also significantly contributes to the world’s pollution problems.
What Will the Treaty Do?
This global pollution treaty will produce specific regulations regarding plastic production and disposal. It will also potentially restrict plastic in manufacturing where alternative materials would work instead. This ambitious proposal will take strategic planning for each country to unite to fight for our planet’s ecosystem.
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee task force will decide how this plastic pollution treaty will function. Members included in this treaty will finalize decisions by 2024 based on finances, regulations, and requirements. This treaty will be the first international agreement to fight plastic pollution as a united front by its signers.
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