Environmental Investigation Agency
United Nations Treaty to End Plastic Pollution
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You are probably aware of some of the challenges in finding a solution to the plastic crisis the world is facing.
3 challenges in no particular order come to mind:
Challenge 1: Data. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it” which certainly applies to plastic waste management. But we can’t measure it because we don’t have the data about how much plastic is being produced, how much waste is exported, how much imported and after that it becomes a guessing game about how much actually lands in the ocean.
Challenge 2: Laws. Packaging companies need a level playing field so that if they improve the environmental friendliness of their products, that this does not put them at a commercial disadvantage.
Challenge 3: Finance. Waste management infrastructure will have to be expanded in the countries that can least afford it.
All these challenges would be complicated enough for one country. But to be effective, all countries need to be aboard. These challenges have to be addressed globally.
Did you know, that the United Nations is working on a treaty to solve these issues? In March 2022, the UN Member States endorsed the UN Environment Programme 5 which is a resolution to End Plastic Pollution with the intention to have a full resolution in 2024.
Today we are talking to someone who is deeply involved in the negotiations to formulate that resolution. She is Christina Dixon from the Environmental Investigation Agency or EIA. She is fighting for the planet.
We talked about the urgency of the treaty and the similarities to efforts to manage the climate crisis and whether the treaty can be thought of a type of Paris for Plastics.