Nations gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday for the first day of talks to finalize the first-ever agreement to contain plastic pollution ahead of a deadline by the end of this year. The treaty is expected to become legally binding by the end of 2024....
Nations gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, on Monday for the first day of talks to finalize the first-ever agreement to contain plastic pollution ahead of a deadline by the end of this year. The treaty is expected to become legally binding by the end of 2024.1
More than 2K representatives are attending the meeting, including agents from the oil and gas industry, environmental organizations, and civil society groups.2
The third round of talks — due to conclude Sunday — will consider adopting policies outlined in a draft text of the treaty, which was issued in September.3
This comes as a group of nations — led by Norway and Rwanda — are calling for a reduction in global plastic production and restrictions on the chemicals used to make them in an effort to end plastic pollution by 2040.4
Saudi Arabia, in contrast, is leading a group of countries with large petroleum industries that oppose cutting plastic production and instead emphasize recycling and waste management. Plastic is largely made from crude oil and natural gas.5
A 2022 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development study projects that plastic waste will triple by 2060, with around 50% ending up in landfills and less than 20% being recycled.6
Narrative A, as provided by NPR Online News. The fossil fuel industry has a track record of slowing environmental action, and this time won't be any different. As plastics are crucial for its bottom line, it's no surprise that the corporate world is pushing for recycling over production cuts — an effort that studies have shown doesn't work. While these negotiations are an admirable effort, finding a balance between what should be done and appeasing global oil leaders like Saudi Arabia won't be easy.
Narrative B, as provided by Mother Jones. The world is reaching its global saturation point, and something must be done, particularly as it's the poor who bear the brunt of plastic pollution. Rich nations have long sent their waste to be thrown away or recycled abroad, and studies show that the quantities involved are grossly underestimated. The havoc this takes on the health of people in poor nations is untold. The negotiations in Nairobi must be finalized.