Environmental Defence welcomes strong negotiating mandate for a global plastics treaty

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – Today the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) reached an agreement to negotiate a global treaty that could serve to stop and reverse the damage that plastic is wreaking on the global environment and human health. This is a welcome seed of hope in a world in crisis.

Plastic pollution will soon reach a catastrophic scale. That’s why we’re glad to see that the text of the treaty is expected to be produced by 2024, and will include legally-binding provisions that cover the full life cycle of plastic, from design and production, to use and disposal. This is a commitment to rapid action that recognizes the severity of this crisis worldwide.

We applaud the Canadian government for the role it played at UNEA in co-ordinating, along with the delegation from Ghana, discussions on the plastics treaty mandate. Global commitments and co-ordination are necessary for achieving the goal of zero plastic waste by 2030.

At home, the government has already started on this path by announcing pending bans on some of the most harmful single-use plastics: bags, stir sticks, straws, six-pack rings, cutlery and takeout containers. The government has also launched a discussion about implementing requirements that new plastic products and packaging include 50 per cent recycled content. Successful completion of these efforts is critical to Canada playing its part in protecting Canadians and on the international stage.

There is so much more to do on the road to 2030. We are looking forward to contributing alongside other environmental and public interest groups to the elimination of plastic pollution in Canada and around the world.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Lauren Thomas, Environmental Defence, lthomas@environmentaldefence.ca