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August 23, 2022

Countries launch initiative to end plastic pollution by 2040

WWF International has called on more countries to join the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution.

A coalition to address plastic pollution has been formed by 20 countries from various continents.

Chaired by Norway and Rwanda, the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution was created after the UN Environment Assembly passed resolution 5/14.

Other members of the coalition include Canada, Senegal, Georgia, South Korea, the UK, Portugal, Chile, Costa Rica, Iceland and the Dominican Republic.

The coalition seeks to develop a ‘landmark treaty’ to eliminate plastic pollution by 2024.

To inform the discussions around this treaty, it will release statements and conduct intersessional work on key elements and issues.

At the upcoming UN General Assembly, member nations will meet to discuss the next steps of the coalition’s work.

Rwandan Environment Minister and coalition co-chair Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said: “Rwanda started the journey to end plastic pollution in 2004.

“Unfortunately, plastic wastes are still visible in the country’s downstream, which proves the need for global efforts towards a common goal of ending plastic pollution because this is an unacceptable burden to place on future generations.

“Plastic pollution constitutes a planetary crisis with impacts on human health, biodiversity and climate system.”

The coalition’s formation comes ahead of the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which is due to take place from 28 November to 2 December.

The meeting is expected to finalise a global and legally binding treaty aimed at ending plastic pollution.

Plastic consumption is anticipated to increase from 460 million tonnes in 2019 to 1.2 billion tonnes in 2060.

WWF International global plastic policy manager Eirik Lindebjerg said: “States must set aside their differences and individual preferences for how plastic is produced and managed.

“This means moving away from a treaty based on national ambitions and establishing one in which all states follow the same rules.”

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