It has become very clear, that the world has a problem with managing plastic! Plastic is found in disturbing quantities in our oceans, air, soil, and freshwater all across the globe. Plastic pollution poses a huge risk to our economies, especially the marine economies of many of our nations. So what are we doing about? Although technological and innovative approaches are emerging, there remains a need to enhance the global legal and policy frameworks to tackle the problem across the lifecycle of plastics. In 2017, governments agreed on a goal for the long-term elimination of all discharge of litter and microplastics into the ocean. It’s clear that although the problems are visible in the marine environment, the global governance of plastics must expand to cover land-based sources and upstream activities.
Senior Research Fellow Niko Urho has been working on addressing this problem. He is co-lead author of the report Possible elements of a new global agreement to prevent plastic pollution funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Report highlights that a global agreement needs to focus on advancing sustainable production and consumption of plastics that will facilitate waste management and, consequently, help to achieve a significant reduction of marine litter. This could be achieved with the development of International Sustainability Criteria that apply to economic activities across the value chain of plastics helping to incentivize reusability, repairability recyclability of plastics. In addition, the report proposes the development of National Plastic Management Plans that could be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of countries.
The Report can be found here.
To learn more about plastic pollution and the need for a new global agreement on plastics, you see this video.