Science

UN commits to stop ocean plastic waste

Nations have agreed that the world needs to completely stop plastic waste from entering the oceans.

The UN resolution, which is set to be sealed tomorrow, has no timetable and is not legally binding.

But ministers at an environment summit in Kenya believe it will set the course for much tougher policies and send a clear signal to business.

A stronger motion was rejected after the US would not agree to any specific, internationally agreed goals.

Under the proposal, governments would establish an international taskforce to advise on combating what the UN's oceans chief has described as a planetary crisis.

Environmentalists say ministers are starting to take plastic waste more seriously, but need to move much more quickly.

Li Lin from the green group WWF said: "At last we are seeing some action on this issue, but we still don’t have the urgency we need. The problem needs solving right now."

One contentious issue is the wish of delegates to include businesses on the global taskforce.

Ministers say the problem will not be solved without business, but green groups point out that some firms in the plastics industry have been lobbying against restrictions for decades.

Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s environment minister, a leading voice in the talks, told BBC News: "Business is listening to markets and seeing how marine litter is a growing popular concern.

"It's possibly the fastest-growing environmental problem and it's therefore a fast-growing problem for business.

"We need to bring on board those companies that want to change things, then look at taxes and regulations to make more companies act sustainably.

"We also need to mobilise businesses like aquaculture that suffer from marine pollution."

Certainly, there has been a flurry of resistance from plastics firms to the bans occurring across Africa.

One UN delegate, who did not want to be named, told me journalists in some countries were being paid by the plastics industry to write stories about job losses following the plastic bag ban.

Here in Kenya, a long newspaper report counted job losses from the sudden closure of a plastics plant. But it did not mention the jobs being created in alternatives, such as labour-intensive basketwork, which provides work for the rural poor.

But some governments are standing firm, and the meeting has witnessed individual nations declaring tougher action against single-use plastic bags on their own territory.

South Africa and Cameroon are the latest to declare a tax on the thin bags which strew Africa's fields and cities.

Nations with a near total ban include Mauretania, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mauritius, Zanzibar and Uganda.

Bangladesh imposed a ban in 2002 after plastic bags blocked drains and contributed to major floods.

Sri Lanka and others adopted a ban for similar reasons, although in Mauretania a ban came because cattle were getting sick from eating plastic.

Whatever the motivation for restrictions, sea creatures will eventually benefit from a slackening in the tide of waste.

The UN's spokesman Sam Barratt told BBC News: "Of course we would have liked to have gone further, but this meeting's made real progress.

"There's now a sense of urgency and energy behind the issue that we haven't quite seen before.

"What is obvious, though, is that the UN can't solve this problem on its own. We need to do it in partnership with governments, businesses and even individuals."

Whilst the UN grinds slowly forward, one delegate told me the meeting had been really useful for ministers to share their experiences on action they had taken in their own countries. Laggards were learning from progressives, he said.

He highlighted collaborative action from states along Africa's Atlantic coast to clamp down on the waste that infests their seas. The UK may be brought into that partnership thanks to its British Overseas Territory of St Helena.

Follow Roger on Twitter @rharrabin

Original Article

BBC

Related Articles

41 Comments

  1. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.|

  2. I’ve been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.|

  3. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon every day. It’s always useful to read through content from other authors and use something from other websites. |

  4. choloquine
    [url=https://chloroquineorigin.com/#]chloroquine side effects[/url]
    top erectile dysfunction supplements
    [url=https://besterectiledysfunctionpills.com/#]can erectile dysfunction be temporary[/url]
    hydroxichloriquin
    [url=https://hydroxychloroquinex.com/#]hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona[/url]
    erectile lump
    [url=https://plaquenilx.com/#]best time to take plaquenil[/url]
    tadalafil 10 mg
    [url=https://tadalisxs.com/#]order tadalafil[/url]
    how to get a prescription for zithromax
    [url=https://zithromaxes.com/#]zithromax tablets[/url]

  5. It’s the best time to make some plans for the future
    and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and
    if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
    Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.

    I want to read even more things about it!

  6. I’ve been surfing online more than 2 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like
    yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the net will be a lot
    more useful than ever before.

  7. I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  8. It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you
    few interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring
    to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

  9. Howdy would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but I’m having a tough time choosing
    between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and
    Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs
    and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  10. Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i
    was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or
    anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me
    mad so any assistance is very much appreciated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button