The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said the project Reducing Marine Plastics and Plastic Pollution in Latin American and Caribbean Cities through a Circular Economy Approach will help these three countries to adopt closed-loop policies at the municipal level.
It will also facilitate engaging the private sector to do the same and create an inter-city network among the region’s cities on marine plastics and pollution in general, based on best practices.
The initiative is led by UNEP with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and support from the Secretariat of the Cartagena Convention.
The project will prioritize upstream interventions and identify products containing chemicals of concern.
It will then use policy and fiscal instruments to reduce the use of unnecessary or toxic plastic items, as well as limit and ban the open burning of such material and develop reuse and refill systems and new circular business models.
UNEP data indicate that the global economy is only 8.6 percent circular, a figure that increases slightly in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 10 percent.
According to the agency, plastic is an ubiquitous material, used in everything from products to packaging.
However, almost a third of all plastic is single-use, 32 percent contaminates soil and freshwater ecosystems, and up to 10 million tons are dumped annually into the ocean, aggravating the triple planetary crisis: climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, pollution and waste.