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Meeting in Uruguay: Negotiations on the first global agreement against plastic waste begin


It would be the first global coalition to fight plastic pollution: 200 countries want to conclude a legally binding agreement by 2024. The first round of negotiations has now begun, and more are already planned.

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Plastic waste on the coast of Bali: According to the UN, plastic pollution is increasing rapidly

Photo: Koldunov / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Millions of tons of plastic are floating in the world's oceans, which is a problem for people and animals alike.

Representatives of governments, international organizations and environmental groups have now started negotiations on a binding global agreement against plastic pollution.

The conference organized by the United Nations in the holiday resort of Punta del Este in Uruguay lasts until Friday, at the end of which there should be a contract to curb pollution from single-use plastic, ghost nets or microplastics.

A resolution paving the way for negotiations was passed in March at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

The committee is to develop a convention by the end of 2024 that will set out binding rules and measures for the entire life cycle of plastic.

After the one-week meeting in Uruguay, South America, further rounds of negotiations are planned for next year in France and Kenya.

More than 35 states

After the UN Environment Assembly, a coalition of ambitious countries led by Norway and Rwanda had formed, which wants to achieve an end to plastic pollution by 2040 in the negotiations.

More than 35 countries now belong to it, including Germany.

According to the UN, plastic pollution is increasing rapidly.

This poses a serious global environmental problem. If the necessary measures are not taken, the amount of plastic waste entering oceans and other waters could increase from around 9 to 14 million tons per year in 2016 to an estimated 23 to 37 million tons per year more than double by 2040, it said.

According to the Federal Environment Ministry, the biggest drivers are the packaging, vehicle and construction industries.

Three forms of garbage particularly problematic

According to the environmental organization WWF, the three most problematic types of waste are disposable plastic, ghost nets and microplastics.

"Together, almost all of the plastic waste in the ocean comes from these three sources," said Alois Vedder of WWF Germany.

Animals also suffer from the huge amounts of plastic waste in their habitat.

According to a study by the Alfred Wegener Institute, more than 2000 animal species are confronted with plastic pollution.

Almost 90 percent of the examined species are negatively affected.

Instead of the previous mix of voluntary and mandatory, national and regional regulations, conservationists are now pushing for a globally binding agreement against plastic pollution.

"In the future, it will be the task of industry to produce durable and fully recyclable plastic goods," according to a statement by the environmental protection organization Greenpeace.

»It is part of the responsibility of governments to create incentives for a truly circular economy and to reward innovation.«


Source: spiegel

All tech articles on 2022-11-29

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