Reuters reports that many country officials suggest that a circular solution must be adopted, which means keeping the existing plastic in circulation for as long as possible. Additionally, the 55-nation coalition asked for a ban on problematic plastic products, that are hard or impossible to recycle, as these would cause catastrophic damage when they get into our planet's ecosystems.
Rwanda's environment minister, Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, said that "we have a responsibility to protect human health in our environment from the most harmful polymers and chemicals of concern through the treaty."
At the same time, French president Emmanuel Macron added that "there is no time to lose. The aim must be to produce a text that everyone agrees on by the end of 2024, a year before the United Nations Conference on Oceans in Nice."
Experts at the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) showcased a set of measures with the aim to reduce plastic waste by 80% by 2040, with action being necessary in three areas, reusing, recycling and reorientation to more eco-friendly materials.
UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen believes that reducing the amount of plastic that we use for various purposes is the first step towards a world where plastic waste will no longer be an issue.
This is important, as public health was among the top concerns regarding the production and using plastic materials that often times end up as waste. Experts at the UNEP found 13.000 chemicals that are associated with the production of plastic and out of those, 3.000 are considered dangerous for the health of humans.