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Global talks on plastic pollution: striking a balance between production and recycling

Global discussions are underway among 145 countries to address plastic pollution and formulate a comprehensive treaty by 2025. Led by Norway and the High Ambition Coalition, the talks aim to combat the escalating crisis caused by mounting plastic waste.

Global talks on plastic pollution_Sea turtle underwater_visual 1Sea turtle underwater.

In the initial stages of the negotiations, Norway's climate and environment minister emphasised the importance of reducing the production of ‘virgin plastic’ and highlighted the significance of a circular economy, which would naturally decrease the demand for new plastics.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a paper ahead of the talks, focusing on reducing plastic pollution by 80% through a circular economy. However, environmental groups raised concerns, arguing that the talks should also address the root cause of the crisis—the excessive production of plastic.

Greenpeace called for a drastic 75% reduction in plastic production, highlighting the complexities of recycling most types of plastic derived from fossil fuels. They cautioned against solely focusing on recycling due to its potential negative impacts on the environment.

Read more: The ultimate guide to plastic credits 

The gravity of the plastic problem is immense, with plastic manufacturers producing around 460 million tonnes annually, of which a quarter ends up polluting the planet. Less than 10% of plastic is recycled. A 2022 study suggests that plastic waste may triple by 2060, already exceeding safe boundaries.

Plastic pollution has infiltrated ecosystems worldwide, including oceans and mountains, posing risks to wildlife and humans. Recently, Norway's environment minister discovered plastic and additive chemicals in his own blood test results, emphasising the urgency of the issue. Land-based plastic pollution accounts for 80% of the problem.

Challenges persist within the negotiations, with some countries criticised for limited ambition regarding the plastic treaty. Stakeholders advocate for the global treaty to establish legally binding rules, ensuring a unified approach. The High Ambition Coalition aims to end plastic pollution by 2040, focusing on sustainable plastic manufacturing practices, reducing toxins, and designing recyclable plastics.

Offset your plastic footprint

Pressure from environmental organisations and individuals has led to an open letter urging UNEP to limit the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists in the negotiations, citing a conflict of interest with human rights affected by the plastic crisis.

Urgent action and collaboration are necessary to find common ground between reducing plastic production and promoting effective recycling. Addressing this crisis collectively and adopting sustainable solutions are crucial for the future health of our planet and its inhabitants.

At DGB Group, we firmly believe that addressing the plastic problem is paramount for the health and wellbeing of our natural world. Plastic pollution poses a severe threat to ecosystems, wildlife, and biodiversity, infiltrating even the most remote corners of our planet. By finding innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce plastic pollution, promote effective recycling, and embrace a circular economy, we can restore the balance in nature and protect its fragile beauty for generations to come. 

Solving the plastic problem is not only an environmental imperative; it is an ethical responsibility to safeguard the health of our planet and ensure a sustainable future for all. Together, let us fight plastic pollution and embrace nature-based solutions that nurture and preserve the incredible wonders of our natural world.

Contact us to take action for a better tomorrow 

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