UN member states have agreed to initiate the international negotiations on drawing up a global plastics treaty that could set rules for the full life cycle of plastics, from production to disposal, recycling and reuse.
This global plastics treaty would be the most important environmental accord since the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, in which nations agreed to cut down greenhouse gas emissions.
Plastic pollution is a global problem. As per UNEP, around 7 billion of the 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic produced from 1950-2017 became plastic waste, ending up in landfills or dumped.
Globally, the task of collecting, segregating and recycling plastics is a major challenge and often this falls to informal waste pickers who work among hazardous environment for small financial compensation.
“We work at these trash sites for 12-14 hours per day, which is a poverty trap”, said Ramesh during discussion with Envofix team on ground visit at one of the landfill sites in India.
In a historic move, this agreement for the first time formally recognized the importance of waste pickers in the plastics economy.
This agreement also addresses the importance of promoting sustainable design of products and materials so that they can be reused, remanufactured or recycled and therefore retained in the economy for as long as possible along with the resources they are made of, as well as minimizing the generation of waste, which can significantly contribute to sustainable production and consumption of plastics