The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) has cleared the way for negotiations on a legally binding global agreement on plastics and plastic waste. A resolution to this effect was adopted by consensus on Wednesday by heads of state, ministers of environment and representatives of 175 countries. Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (Unep), described the planned agreement as "the most important multilateral environmental deal since the Paris climate accord".
According to the UNEA decision, a negotiating committee is to be set up in the second half of 2022 with the aim of completing the work of drafting a legally binding agreement by the end of 2024. The agreement is not to focus solely on environmental pollution caused by plastic waste, according to the UNEA resolution. It is to cover the entire life-cycle of plastics and promote sustainable product design and resource conservation. The resolution underlines the importance of reuse, remanufacturing and recycling. The Environment Assembly was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in a hybrid format.
The full report on the UNEA decision will appear in the next print and e-paper edition of EUWID Recycling and Waste Management out on 9 March 2022.