On Wednesday, the UN Environment Assembly adopted a global goal to stop the discharge of plastics into the oceans, based on a proposal from Norway.
‘The decision for a zero vision for plastics in the ocean is a breakthrough in the battle against marine sedimentation and pollution. This is the first time the world has agreed that the goal is to stop the discharges of plastic.
It’s far in the future, but when we have a common goal, mobilising for stronger efforts is easier,’ said Climate and Environmental Minister, Vidar Helgesen of Høyre (H).
Around 3,000 delegates, and 100 ministers, have gathered in Nairobi, Kenya this week to discuss pollution prevention measures. In the decision, the countries agreed that better collection and treatment of garbage is the most important measure.
Furthermore, it was decided that an expert group should find out what prevents a solution to the garbage problem within today’s international framework.
This expert group will come forward with proposals for better global solutions when the UN Environment Assembly meets again in spring 2019. An international agreement on marine rubbish dumping may eventually be one of several possible solutions.
‘What we have to do now is to create an action plan. Some of the measures will deal with how we produce and consume,’ said UN Secretary of State, Ibrahim Thiaw, of the decision.
He emphasised that clear measures must be taken if goals are to be achieved, including a ban on plastic bags in shops, for example.
‘Every year we dump between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic in our oceans, and we produce 40 million tons of electronic waste,’ said Thiaw.
Delegates at the UN Environment Assembly have also discussed other types of pollution. A new report estimated that nine million people die annually as a result of pollution.
NTB Scanpix / Norway Today