A historic resolution to beat plastic pollution was endorsed at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5), which took place in Nairobi, at the beginning of the month. 175 countries agreed to establish a legally binding agreement, encompassing the full lifecycle of plastic, from production to disposal.

The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations, establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC), which will begin its work this year, with the ambition of completing a draft global legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.

The instrument is expected to reflect diverse alternatives to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building and scientific and technical cooperation.

This agreement represents the biggest multilateral environmental deal since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Plastic pollution has been escalating to what can be considered an epidemic, said Espen Barth Eide (President of UNEA-5 and Norway’s Minister for Climate and the Environment), highlighting the urgent need to address this issue.

Currently, the world produces around 300 million tons of plastic every year, which is almost the equivalent of the entire human population’s weight. Close to eight million tons of this material end up in our oceans on a yearly basis.

The moment to act is now, in order to avoid that the planet comes up against far greater difficulties. The ambitious global treaty represents the path to the cure and the Mirpuri Foundation could not be more aligned with it.