• Wed. May 31st, 2023

Pathway to a plastic pollution-cost-free globe


May 27, 2023

Minister Catherine Colonna, Minister for Europe, and Foreign Affairs of France

Christophe Béchu Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion of France

My thanks to the government of France for hosting this higher-level occasion.

We are meeting ahead of the second round of negotiations on the worldwide deal to finish plastic pollution. These negotiations are vital, since we will set the mandate and pathway towards an agreement, and this matters tremendously. Since the agreement is, of course, vital to ending the plastic pollution that is damaging the all-natural globe, oceans, human well being, and the climate. 

Right now, the leadership dialogues will concentrate on circularity and waste management. This is of course critical. But let me also pressure that the journey to a pollution-cost-free globe starts with decreasing the size of the challenge. Since 1 factor is clear: we can’t recycle our way out of this mess. Existing recycling and waste management infrastructure can’t cope with the volume of plastic the linear economy is pumping out just about every day carelessly and needlessly. It will by no means be capable to cope unless much less plastic comes out of the method. 

So, what do we want to see from this agreement? The agreement will have to take a complete life-cycle strategy that reduces the size of the challenge. It is all about redesign. Redesigning items so that they do not will need to consist of plastic or be delivered in plastic. Why ship water about. Why not ship solids or dry powder? Get our engineers to redesign the items that we envelope in plastics. Redesign packaging to stay clear of making use of plastic or to use much less plastic. Redesign systems and items so that the proper to repair, reuse, refill and/or recyclability can be realised but try to remember, this is about recycling every little thing, not just the 9 per cent we do now. Redesign guidelines and incentives. It is absurd that what we take out of the belly of the earth i.e. new raw polymer is more affordable than recycled polymer. This will have to modify. Redesign the broader method for justice – so that informal waste-pickers, what is named the Green Force in Sri Lanka, and other vulnerable communities are not left behind, but achieve decent jobs and the proper to a clean, wholesome, and sustainable atmosphere, now enshrined by the UN Basic Assembly. 

Get the redesign proper, and we lessen all round plastic. Get the redesign proper and our items are de-liquified and can be delivered with non-plastic components. Get the redesign proper and we produce markets for repaired, refilled and reusable items. Get the redesign proper, and recycled polymer is a useful material, prized and guarded by firms, households, and governments. Get the redesign proper and we massively enhance recycling. 

Get the redesign proper and we create sustainable and protected plastic options. 

Get the redesign proper, and, with new investments, waste management becomes, nicely, manageable.

Get the redesign proper and a new economy is designed. Jobs are designed. Possibilities are designed. A clean and lucrative economy in which the interests of nearby communities, indigenous individuals and informal waste workers are secured, with no one left behind.

In a current OpEd by Paul Polman, the former CEO of Unilever stated, and I quote: “Predictably, some firms are lobbying really hard to undermine the talks, led by petrochemicals and fossil fuels. It is no secret that, as our societies embrace renewable power additional wholeheartedly, a lot of in fossil fuels see the quickly-increasing plastic sector as a lifeboat.” I have mentioned yesterday, do not jump into that lifeboat. Since it will capsize. Rather, steer your boat towards options that aim at crystal clean waters and the sandy beaches cost-free of plastic debris. And right here, of course, we will have to be confident that we do not stroll away from legacy plastic that will continue to wash up on a lot of shores for decades following we have closed the plastic tap. 

So, I say to all, be aspect of this modify, since modify is coming. Every person – from just about every sector and just about every stroll of life – will have to show ambition, determination, and innovation. We got ourselves into this mess. Now we have the opportunity to start out on the options pathway. Beginning these days. 

So, I ask you: what will you commit to these days? Thank you.