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Tuesday, 18 June, 2024

As plastic treaty talks open, countries more divided than ever

During the last treaty talks in November in Nairobi, there was strong support from 130 governments for requiring companies to disclose how much plastic they produce, and which chemicals they use in the process
Express Desk
  30 Apr 2024, 03:20
Garbage and plastic bottles float on Las Vacas river considered one of the most polluted rivers in the world, in the municipality of Chinautla, where the Ocean Cleanup NGO is testing a device to contain the garbage that ends up in the Atlantic Ocean, in Guatemala City , Guatemala June 8, 2022.

Countries are under pressure to make progress on a first-ever global plastics treaty this week, but they face tense negotiations in the Canadian capital with parties deeply divided over what the treaty should include as talks begin on Tuesday.

If governments can agree on a legally binding treaty that addresses not just how plastics are discarded, but also how much plastic is produced and how it is used, the treaty could become the most significant pact to address global climate-warming emissions since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The production of plastics accounts for some 5% of climate emissions and could grow to 20% by 2050 unless limited, according to a report last week from the U.S. federal Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

When countries agreed in 2022 to negotiate a legally binding treaty by the end of this year, they called for addressing the full lifecycle of plastics - from production and use to waste.