‘Treaty must provide holistic solution to plastic crisis’

ENVIRONMENTAL activists are urging global leaders to come out with a holistic global treaty to reduce plastic pollution.

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives global communications lead Claire Arkin said the use of plastic had an adverse impact on people’s health, leading to problems including infertility, cancer, obesity and lymphatic illnesses.

“The treaty should tackle not only what happens to plastic waste but also the full life cycle of plastic from extraction to disposal.

“The mandate will be an open one and negotiators can add new topics that are relevant, especially about climate toxicity and health,” she said in a virtual press conference.

Arkin said the #breakfreefromplastic (BFFP) movement was a global effort envisioning a future free from plastic pollution.

“Since its launch in 2016, more than 11,000 organisations and individuals from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic crisis.”

Environmental educator and zero-waste advocate Froilan Grate said the treaty must be legally binding while New Zealand Plastic Pollution Alliance co-founder Trisia Farrelly said a multi-stakeholder discussion must be carried out when drafting the treaty.

Also on the panel of speakers were United Nation Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth (Indonesia) network coordinator Rahyang Nusantara and Solid Waste Management Roundtable founding member Pinky Chandran.

The session was moderated by BFFP Asia Pacific coordinator Satyarupa Shekhar.

On March 2, UN members agreed to start writing a global plastic treaty that will restrict plastic pollution.