Climate and Environment

Group calls for treaty to protect people, environment from plastic pollution

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Group calls for treaty to protect people, environment from plastic pollution
This photo taken on May 18, 2018 shows egrets along a garbage-filled beach on the Freedom island critical habitat and ecotourism area near Manila.
AFP/Noel Celis

MANILA, Philippines — A toxics watchdog group called for a global agreement that will halt the harms caused by plastic and their hazardous chemical ingredients on humans and the environment.

Representatives of almost 200 nations gather in Punta del Este, Paraguay to discuss measures to combat plastic pollution.

EcoWaste Coalition urged governments present at the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC1) to adopt a strong treaty that will ban toxic chemicals in plastics, put a cap on the unrestrained production of plastics and their additives, and disallow the burning of plastic wastes in cement kilns and incinerators, including waste-to-energy facilities.

The treaty should also bar plastic waste exports in order to halt toxic pollution and environmental injustice, the group added.

“The plastics treaty must uphold the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment,” said Aileen Lucero, national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition.

Health Care Without Harm also called for transparency for chemical information in plastics, stressing the need for publicly available information about toxic ingredients in plastic materials and products throughout the lifecycle.

The meeting in Uruguay comes after the parties at the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi agreed to create an intergovernmental committee to negotiate and finalize a legally binding plastics treaty by 2024.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the total plastic in the ocean has increased 50% in the past five years despite an increase in policies to fight plastic pollution. — with report from Agence France Presse




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