Connecting the Dots: Plastic pollution and the planetary emergency report: Global treaty to cut plastic production needed urgently: EIA report ahead of UN summit

What is the News?

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has released a report titled “Connecting the Dots: Plastic pollution and the planetary emergency”.

Note: Environmental Investigation Agency(EIA) is an international NGO with offices in London and Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1984. It investigates and campaigns against environmental crime and abuse.
What are the Key Findings of the Report?

The world’s plastic pollution threat constitutes a ‘planetary emergency’ that’s equal to climate change and biodiversity loss.

The report has revealed that an estimated 250 million tonnes of plastic will make it to the oceans by 2025 and this number could increase to 700 million tonnes by 2040. 

This increment in number is due to the overproduction of virgin plastics, which is the type of plastics manufactured from non-recyclable materials. 

Moreover, the increase in plastic production is also leading to an increment in the emissions of carbon dioxide and the resulting waste is also causing death among animals. An estimated 1.78 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide was released during plastic pollution in 2015 alone. 

Read more: Plastic pollution in aquatic systems may triple by 2040: UNEP
What are the suggestions given by the report?
New global plastics Treaty

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) synthesis report entitled: “Making Peace with Nature’’ identified three existential environmental threats – climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Two of these – biodiversity and climate change – have had dedicated multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) for nearly 30 years but, despite plastic pollution being one of the most prevalent and destructive environmental pollutants in existence, no such instrument for plastic exists. 

Hence, a global plastics treaty that takes into account the entire lifecycle of plastics needs to be developed urgently.

Read more: Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study
Prioritize policies that address multiple threats acting at different timescales

This must include measures to urgently eliminate the discharge of plastics into the environment, phase plastic production down to sustainable levels as well as promote the upscaling of reuse, refill and traditional packaging systems tailored to national contexts.

Meeting nationally determined contributions

Countries need to work toward reducing the climate impact from extraction, processing, cracking and polymerisation through targeted measures in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Read more: Progress on Paris Climate Change Agreement: In India and world

Source: This post is based on the article ‘Global treaty to cut plastic production needed urgently: EIA report ahead of UN summit published in Down To Earth on 20th January 2022.

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