It’s been decades since plans to save the environment from plastic pollution began to be discussed, yet this problem is inexorably continuing to get worse. For this reason representatives of nearly 200 nations are gathering in Uruguay to try to put a stop to this environmental dripping.
The numerous delegates chose a famous seaside resort in the South American country, Punta Del Este, to begin tracing a concrete path towards the first global treaty to combat plastic pollution.
Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (based in Nairobi), said at the start of the talks: “We know that the world suffers from a major dependence on plastics. But a crisis linked to this material is also a climate crisis, as it has a high carbon footprint and a heavy chemical footprint“.
Already in March, during theUnited Nations Assembly for the Environment held in the capital of Kenya, the various representatives had agreed to create, by 2024, an intergovernmental committee to negotiate and finalize a legally binding plastics treaty.
The decision, of fundamental importance, was immediately seen as the greatest environmental progress since the signing of the Paris Agreementheld in 2015 to try to put a stop to global warming.
A problem, that of plastic, of immense proportions. According to some estimates, in fact, every minute a quantity of plastic equal to a garbage truck is dumped into the sea, and it is expected that this volume will triple by 2040 filling the world’s oceans.
Furthermore, what is even more alarming, nano and micro-plastics, in addition to having ended up in the most remote places on the planet, have also been found within human bloodlungs, spleen, kidneys and even fetal tissue.
According to experts, only an international agreement, legally binding and uniting the highest number of nations, could really begin to stop one of the worst environmental scourges on the planetbut above all there must be sufficient political will.
The current meeting in Uruguay will last five days, but it will be only the first step in the long and complex negotiation process. I am indeed four more global meetings are planned to continue the debate. In the hope that a concrete conclusion will be reached.
“End plastic pollution is a very ambitious goal, but it is entirely doable. We will have to work with the private sector, with environmentalists, with communities, with political leaderships. All together we will have to find a solution“added Dr. Andersen.