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A new international pledge to ‘End Plastic Pollution’

Rebecca Prince-Ruiz | 2 March 2022

This week the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) in Nairobi where U.N. member states met and adopted a mandate for a new legally binding treaty on plastic pollution to tackle the growing plastic pollution crisis.

This historic moment comes after years of hard work by many stakeholders including member states, NGOs, businesses and other organisations and was backed by overwhelming public support. Our research showed almost 9 out of 10 people surveyed support a global treaty (Rising Tides: Global Opinions on Actions to Stop Plastic Pollution).

For every single person who has taken action to reduce plastic waste in their own lives and called on business and governments to change, this is a victory for you.

The Plastic Free July movement of millions of individual local actions has contributed to a paradigm shift, we now have a global call for change. This agreement to adopt the mandate for a global plastic treaty by UN member states will be remembered in history as the moment we turned the tide to stop plastic pollution.

Titled ‘End Plastic Pollution’, the treaty will create global rules and obligations for the whole life cycle of plastic, from plastic production and transport, to manufacture, consumption and disposal with the goal of ending plastic pollution. 

A global treaty is a unique opportunity to turn the tap off on plastic waste and help reframe our relationship with plastics so that people’s health and that of the environment are not at risk.

Being in Nairobi and hearing this decision provides a clear symbol of hope for people from all corners of the world and shows that governments have listened. This decision brings us closer to a world without plastic pollution.

Photo: Jaimen Hudson

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