Several speakers at a high-level event organized by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Environment Program (UNEP) said that world´s plastics-dependent economy generates large volumes of plastic waste. They pointed out that, in 2020, plastic waste amounted to 367 million metric tons, with 8 to 12 million metric tons ending up in oceans.
About 75% of all the plastic ever produced has become waste, a trend that may continue if measures to reduce, substitute, collect, recycle and sustainably dispose plastics are not put in place with harmonized global rules worldwide.
‘Plastic is everywhere. It’s a multi-faceted, big business,’ said UNCTAD Acting Secretary-General Isabelle Durant. ‘Global plastics trade is worth at least $1 trillion, and virtually every country is involved.’
Ms. Durant said cooperation on trade can play a big role in tackling the plastic pollution menace because ‘trade occurs at every step in the plastics lifecycle; from its fossil fuel inputs, to intermediate products, final goods and even waste.’
‘Multilateral trade rules should ensure that national regulations, bans, taxes and other mechanisms meant to tackle plastic pollution are set in a fair, non-discriminatory and transparent manner,’ she said.
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