Plastic pollution

Helen Briggs in BBC:

Nearly 200 countries have agreed to start negotiations on an international agreement to take action on the “plastic crisis”. UN members are tasked with developing an over-arching framework for reducing plastic waste across the world. There is growing concern that discarded plastic is destroying habitats, harming wildlife and contaminating the food chain. Supporters describe the move as one of the world’s most ambitious environmental actions since the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which phased out ozone-depleting substances.

They say just as climate change has the Paris Agreement, plastic should have its own binding treaty, which sets the world on course for reducing plastic waste. Prof Steve Fletcher of the University of Portsmouth advises the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on plastics issues. He said the plastics problem spans international borders and boundaries. “One country can’t deal with plastic pollution alone, no matter how good its policies are,” he said. “We need a global agreement to enable us to deal with the widespread challenges that plastic gives us as a society.”

More here.