Top global brands, including Coca Cola and PepsiCo, have today (Monday 17 January) called for a global pact to combat plastic pollution.
The call includes cutting production of plastic, stating a circular economy for plastics will ‘contribute to the efforts to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, while bringing positive social and economic impacts’.
World officials will meet at a United Nations Environment Assembly conference (UNEA 5.2) later this year to discuss what has bveen labelled as a ‘treaty’ to tackle a plastic waste pollution.
The more than 70 signatories to the joint statement include consumer goods companies like Unilever and Nestle, as well as US retailer Walmart and French bank BNP Paribas.
We are at a critical point in time to establish an ambitious U.N. treaty,” the statement said, noting that any deal should ‘reduce virgin plastic production and use
“We are at a critical point in time to establish an ambitious U.N. treaty,” the statement said, noting that any deal should ‘reduce virgin plastic production and use.”
“UNEA 5.2 is the decisive, most auspicious moment to turn the tide on the global plastic pollution crisis. We cannot afford to miss it,” the statement said.
The group of signatories to the business calls for a UN ‘treaty on plastic’ pollution to recognise that:
- The issue of plastic pollution is transboundary in nature and leads to significant negative impacts on our environment, society and economy
- A holistic, coordinated international response that tackles problems at its source is ‘urgently needed’ to effectively stop plastic leakage into nature
- A circular economy for plastics will contribute to the efforts to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, while bringing positive social and economic impacts.
The group is urging that UN Member States establish an ‘Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee’ at UNEA 5.2 to develop an ambitious international, legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.
It proposes this legally binding instrument:
- Includes both upstream and downstream policies, aiming to: keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment, reduce virgin plastic production and use, and decouple plastic production from the consumption of fossil resources
- Sets a clear direction to align governments, businesses and civil society behind a common understanding of the causes of plastic pollution and a shared approach to address them. For companies and investors, this creates a level playing field and prevents a patchwork of disconnected solutions, while setting the right enabling conditions to make a circular economy work in practice and at scale
- Provides a robust governance structure to ensure countries’ participation and compliance, with common definitions as well as harmonised standards applicable to all. This facilitates investments to scale innovations, infrastructures, and skills in the countries and industries most in need of international support.