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As Nations Negotiate First Plastics Treaty, New Survey Finds Support for Banning Single-Use Plastics

We have written about the world's mountain of plastic waste before and researchers continue to document the harm it does to the environment.

Illuminate: "Plastic waste is everywhere on our planet now, from the deepest parts of our oceans to the tops of the highest mountains on earth. We are literally drowning in the stuff. It's polluting our oceans and rivers, filling our landfills and spoiling our beaches, and it's responsible for killing over 1 million marine animals each year including sea turtles, sharks, birds, and fish. And, there is increasing evidence that it's impacting our health."
"Small pieces of plastic, called "microplastics," are now routinely found in the food we eat and the water [and beer] we drink. And they have recently been found in human placentas."

Many people are now coming to understand the magnitude of the problem. A new Ipsos survey found that 75% of individuals in 28 countries agree that single-use plastic should be banned. Support wasn't uniform across the globe, but majorities agreed almost everywhere.

Ipsos: "Latin American and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries show the highest levels of agreement with banning single-use plastic, at 88% and 80% respectively, while North America has the lowest levels of agreement at 61%."

That support should buoy negotiators tasked with formulating a treaty to address the world's growing plastics problem.

175 UN member states have agreed to start negotiations on a global plastics treaty that would set rules for the production, use, and disposal of plastics. The decision was made at a meeting of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya.

BBC: "Dr Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, environment minister for Rwanda, which has been at the forefront of the proposals, said they were optimistic the negotiations would put in place a framework "to end plastic pollution".
"Conservation charity [World Wildlife Fund] WWF described the decision as one of the world's most ambitious environmental actions since the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which phased out ozone-depleting substances."

Negotiators are preparing to meet this year for the first of many rounds of talks to discuss the details of a binding treaty. They plan to hammer out a deal by 2024.

#environment #internationalrelations

By: Don Lam & Curated Content

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