UN body tackles plastic pollution with potential treaty

Nairobi, Feb 28 (EFE).- The United Nations on Monday kicked off the second segment of the fifth Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Kenya, with an aim to forge the first-ever binding global treaty against plastic pollution.

Norway’s environment minister Espen Barth Eide opened the plenary session with a hammer made from recycled plastic from Dandora, Kenya’s largest landfill located in the eastern part of Nairobi.

The symbolic hammer represents one of the major challenges facing the representatives of the 193 UN member nations, who are meeting in the Kenyan capital to analyze the steps necessary to achieve a global agreement to curb plastic pollution.

“Plastic pollution has grown into an epidemic of its own,” said Eide, whose country holds the presidency of the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.

“I am convinced that the time has come for a legally binding treaty to end plastic pollution,” he added.

European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries Virginijus Sinkevicius said that one of the meeting’s mission is to ensure negotiations for a legally-binding agreement are launched.

UN Environment Program (UNEP) chief Inger Andersen praised the efforts made toward achieving a binding treaty.

“Over the last week, we have seen tremendous progress on negotiations towards an internationally legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution. I have complete faith that once endorsed by the Assembly, we will have something truly historic on our hands.”

The UNEA-5, the first part of which took place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to address other pressing environmental issues, and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the UNEP.EFE


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