Addressing the World’s Plastic Crisis: The UN’s New Treaty Takes Aim at the Issue


Addressing the World’s Plastic Crisis: The UN’s New Treaty Takes Aim at the Issue

Plastic is a ubiquitous material that can be found everywhere, from the ocean to our communities, and even inside the human body. Due to its ability to degrade into microplastics and nanoplastics, plastic pollution has become a global issue that affects every corner of the world. Over 430 million tons of plastic are produced annually, a figure that is expected to triple to approximately 1.2 billion tons by 2060, according to the OECD. This massive increase in plastic production could result in nearly 4 billion tons of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere, at a time when efforts are being made to reduce emissions and achieve net zero carbon goals.

The prevalence and severity of the plastic pollution problem has prompted the United Nations’s Environment Program to propose a new treaty aimed at addressing the issue. The treaty calls for a reduction in plastic production and an increase in recycling in order to combat the growing crisis. This proposed treaty has already been submitted for negotiations and, if successful, could become a legally binding agreement by next year. This would be a relatively fast process for global environmental deal-making, highlighting the urgency and importance of addressing the plastic pollution crisis.

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