International agreement aims to curb plastic pollution


Paris – Member states of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) have commissioned a first draft of an agreement to curb global plastic pollution. This is to form the basis for the next round of negotiations in Nairobi in November.

The second round of negotiations to curb global plastic pollution ended June 2 in Paris. It was attended by over 700 delegates from 169 member countries of the UN Environment Programme(UNEP) and over 900 representatives of non-governmental organizations. Delegates charged the chair of the negotiations, Peruvian diplomat Gustavo Adolfo Meza-Cuadra Velasquez, and his secretariat to prepare a first draft of such an agreement.

The draft agreement will form the basis for the third round of negotiations scheduled for November at UNEP headquarters in Nairobi.

UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen urges member states to keep up the momentum. “The world is calling for a comprehensive agreement that is innovative, inclusive and transparent,” she is quoted as saying in a UNEP press release. Plastic, he said, has been the fallback solution for product design for too long. “It’s time to use less plastic, especially plastic that is unnecessary and problematic,” Andersen said. Product packaging must be designed in such a way that less plastic is used. The design must be geared to enable reuse and recycling, he said.

UNEP member states tasked the organization in February 2022 to develop an internationally binding agreement to curb plastic pollution by the end of 2024. The first round of negotiations had taken place in November 2022 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. ce/stk