PERC co-director Dr. Trisia Farrelly recently attended the 4th session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) in Nairobi, Kenya.
Here, several resolutions were considered by member states to address the deleterious impacts of plastic pollution. The first proposition, from Norway, Japan, and Sri Lanka, sought to bolster international cooperation and coordination on marine plastic litter and microplastics. The second proposal by India sought to phase-out single-use plastics globally.
Despite widespread consensus by member states that urgent, ambitious, and global action is needed in regard to plastic pollution, a small minority led by the United States (US) blocked ambitious text and delayed negotiations. Nonetheless, the common vision that arose in discussion meant that action-oriented member states did secure the basic elements for the construction of future actions. Further, the mandate of the expert working group established at UNEA-3 was extended to continue its work. Extending this mandate “keeps plastic on the international agenda and provides an opportunity to consider a future legally binding agreement”.
Source: UNEA4 Plastic Outcomes Press Release.
Image: The Centre for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education