“It is the worst of times but it is the best of times, because we still have a chance”– Sylvia Earle, world renowned and one of first female oceanographers on plastic pollution.
Today is World Environment Day, and the world is coming together to #BeatPlasticPollution!
Plastic pollution has long been recognized as a global crisis, but this year has seen momentum pick up with governments, businesses and individuals coming together to find solutions.
At the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in March 2022, governments agreed on a resolution towards a legally binding plastics treaty. This was hailed as a historic moment placing efforts on track to finding lasting solutions. Since the adoption of the resolution, there has been great progress made and awareness created to support the development of the treaty. Just before World Environment Day, parties will be meeting in Paris, France for the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee which will start preparation of the legally binding instrument. An options paper will guide discussion during the session. The paper includes both legally binding and voluntary elements that will be considered for inclusion in the treaty.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has also released a landmark publication, Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy. The report examines the economic and business models needed to address the impacts of the plastics economy. It provides insights into the magnitude of the plastics crisis and proposes three major shifts that can reduce plastics pollution by 80%:
- Shift 1: Reuse by accelerating market for reusable products. Shift from throwaway economy to reuse society by making a stronger business case for the reuse market.
- Shift 2: Recycle by ensuring recycling becomes a more stable and profitable venture.
- Shift 3: Reorient and diversify by shaping the market for plastics alternatives to enable sustainable substitutions.
So, what can you do to beat plastic pollution this World Environment Day?
- Register an event or activity to mark the day. Showcase what your business or institution is doing to tackle plastic pollution.
- Visit the World Environment Day website to receive updates and learn more about what other business are doing.
- Read the beat plastic pollution practical guide for helpful tips on how we can all be part of the global movement to solve plastic pollution crisis.