Environmental groups are mobilizing governments to turn off the plastic spigot

November 26, 2022, Quezon City. Various environmental groups have expressed hope for an ambitious treaty as governments convene in Punta del Este, Uruguay for the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC1) to develop a global, legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including that found in the marine environment.

“We hope that governments will muster the courage and strength to negotiate an ambitious treaty with binding controls and targets to effectively deal with plastic threats to the health of our people and the environment throughout the life cycle of plastics,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Alliance. “INC1 should lay a solid foundation for real solutions to the global plastic pollution crisis, including reducing plastic production, phasing out toxic chemical additives in plastics, banning the recycling of plastics containing hazardous chemicals in the economy, promoting zero waste and other incineration operations, and promoting sustainable materials for a circular, toxic-free society.” She added, “Companies responsible for toxic plastic messes must take financial responsibility in line with the principles of environmental pollution and environmental sanitation.”

“Negotiators have the critical task of determining how ambitious or weak an envisaged plastics treaty is,” said Sonia Mendoza, president of the Mother Earth Foundation. “Together with our fellow advocates for zero waste and chemical safety, we urge all governments to rise to the challenge and ensure that the public interest of public health and Mother Earth prevails over ‘business as usual’, quick fixes or ‘greenwashing’ during treaty negotiations,” he stressed. However, “all eyes will be on Punta del Este where the health and future of our planet is at stake, and we hope the delegates will not let us down.”

“We welcome every opportunity to find solutions to end plastic pollution on a global scale. The initiation of the meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop a legally binding global treaty on plastics is an opportunity to achieve consensus towards one common goal, which is to stop the pressure on plastic. There is no doubt about Our minds are that one of the biggest challenges we face is plastic leaking into our oceans,” Atti said. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Vice President, Oceana Philippines. “We need to define a global path to eliminate the transboundary harm of plastic to people and the environment. Everyone must be on the same page globally but also work locally to address the root causes of plastic pollution throughout its life cycle.”

As Marian Ledesma, Greenpeace Philippines’ Zero Waste Campaign, explained: “Plastic pollutes and harms throughout its life cycle, from raw material extraction through to post-consumer processing or disposal. If we really want to end plastic pollution and the global crisis that has resulted from it, we need to “It will dramatically reduce production and use. We simply cannot keep up with the massive amounts of plastic produced and the pollution generated, so we must tackle this problem at its source.” For Ledesma and Greenpeace, “The treaty should follow the zero waste hierarchy – putting reduction and reuse first on aid solutions such as recycling and waste-to-energy. It should enable us to turn off the plastic tap and move to safe, just and equitable systems that benefit everyone.” “.

For his part, Rafael López, Program Director for Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) – Asia said: “The Plastics Treaty must support and amplify measures to reduce the impact of unsafe and unsustainable medical products. Bans and restrictions must have a global scope to prevent dirty technologies and products from being transferred to parts of the world where controls are less stringent, to help overcome barriers to bringing innovative and safer products to the global market.” “Unless the treaty clearly defines a path to safer and more sustainable plastics, manufacturers, especially smaller ones, will be forced to continue to follow the status quo,” Lopez warned.

“There are no plastics without chemicals, and harmful chemicals are released at every stage of the life cycle of plastics. Governments must work to eliminate on toxic chemicals in the production, use, and disposal of plastics. “There are ways to do this,” she said, “which include developing sustainability criteria and standards for plastics and ensuring transparency in the value chain, materials, and chemical composition of plastics.” Along with other environmental leaders, she urged all governments to “come out with a strong stance in support of a global plastics treaty that will address the environmental and public health impacts of plastic.”

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