United Nations Resolution on Plastics

March 5, 2022 kstearns
A resolution adopted Wednesday March 2, 2022 by the United Nations lays out an ambitious plan to reduce plastic pollution.  This decision is a historic milestone in the global effort to prevent our planet from drowning in plastics.  The committee’s mandate includes all phases of the plastic life cycle from design and production to waste management.

What is so significant about it?  The broad strokes include goals to:
  • Make packaging more sustainable (no more clamshells, we hope).
  • Ramp up recycling (only 9% of plastic has ever been recycled, according to the United Nations Environment Program).
  • Do something about microplastics, the insidious less than 5mm plastic pieces that sneak into our waters.
  • Limit the overall production of plastic.

The treaty won’t be fully hashed out until 2024 which is actually a fast timeline for global agreements. Whatever goals make it to the final draft will be legally binding to keep loopholes to a minimum.

It turns out plastic is not fantastic. About 11 million tons of plastic waste wash into bodies of water annually, and the UNEP estimates that will triple by 2040.

This resolution is an amazing show of what the world can do when nations work together. It is hopeful this is the beginning of the end of the scourge of plastic on our planet.

Marcia Schroeder
Plastic Reduction Committee
Asheville, NC