WWF critical of global effort to curtail the plastic pollution crisis

WWF critical of global effort to curtail the plastic pollution crisis

March 19, 2019
Marcia González

WWF director general Marco Lambertini laments missed opportunities to deal with the global plastics pollution crisis

World leaders have failed miserably to take action on the escalating plastics pollution crisis. At least that’s the opinion of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) after the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA4) ended last week without, the WWF has suggested, any meaningful policy decisions on tackling marine plastic pollution.

In a statement released by the WWF, it said a resolution passed by global leaders in Nairobi at the UNEA4 meeting – the world’s highest decision-making body on the environment – failed to begin the process of establishing a global, legally binding deal on marine plastics pollution, a solution advocated by WWF. This outcome came despite a large number of countries acknowledging the need to move towards a globally binding agreement.

Global crisis
“More than eight million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the oceans every year, which could add up to 300 million tonnes by 2030,” said Marco Lambertini, WWF International’s director general (pictured above). “Last week, governments failed to take action. UNEA4 was an opportunity for the world’s leaders to make serious and tangible commitments and pledges to combating this global crisis. This is highly disappointing and puts in question the ability of political leaders to listen to the huge demand for action from their citizens.

Last week, governments failed to take action. UNEA4 was an opportunity for the world’s leaders to make serious and tangible commitments and pledges to combating this global crisis. This is highly disappointing and puts in question the ability of political leaders to listen to the huge demand for action from their citizens

“We urgently need comprehensive solutions that reflect the local-to-global and systemic nature of this problem,” Lambertini continued. “A global agreement is critical in creating a level-playing-field approach that allows governments and companies to contribute towards a common vision and set of targets and be held accountable to halt plastic leakage into our oceans.

“This crisis cannot wait another two years for the next round of UNEA talks. We are urging all supportive countries to use this disappointing outcome to accelerate their work towards a global binding agreement on marine plastic pollution.”

A WWF report published last week warned that without a drastic change in approach, the situation will continue to worsen, with 104 million metric tons of plastic at risk of leaking into the planet’s ecosystems by 2030. Solving Plastic Pollution Through Accountability found that consumers and the waste management industry bear too much responsibility for reducing plastics pollution. The report makes the case for a global deal that holds governments and businesses more accountable for the true cost of plastics to nature and people.

WWF is calling for a treaty that would establish national targets and transparent reporting mechanisms that extend to companies. Additionally, any treaty should provide for financial and technical support for low-income countries to scale-up their waste management capacity.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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