Leading Brands Join in a Global Pact to Reduce Production of Plastic

Earth's system is overwhelmed with a concoction of synthetic chemicals, and experts have warned that substances like plastics have crossed a planetary barrier. According to the experts, the total volume of plastics currently exceeds twice of all living animals, and nearly 80 percent of all plastics made constantly stay in the environment. Moreover, plastic output surged by 79 percent between 2000 and 2015.

Due to their low weight and durability, plastics have aided in resolving a few environmental challenges, but their overconsumption and misuse are wreaking havoc on the planet's health.

Among other global brands, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo called for a worldwide accord on Monday to battle plastic pollution, which would require reductions in plastic manufacture, a significant growth area for the oil sector.

Over 70 organisations signed a letter demanding a new UN treaty to be based on a spherical economy approach to address the worldwide issue of pollution from plastic.

The declaration was made in advance of the United Nations Environment Assembly session, which will occur at the end of February, where global leaders will initiate talks on a pact to combat the plastic waste catastrophe, clogging landfills polluting seas, and killing wildlife.

As per an investigation done by Reuters, less than 10 percent of all the plastic ever manufactured has been recycled. On the other hand, its production is expected to double over 20 years. As a result, without manufacturing restrictions, recycling efforts will be insufficient to prevent further increases in plastic pollution. Unfortunately, according to a groundbreaking 2020 analysis by Pew Charitable Trusts, this is the case.

Winnie Lau, senior manager at Pew and co-author of the study, stated that plastic pollution is a severe problem everyone must fight against. She further added that it is neither an individual issue nor an issue of one nation; it is a crisis that affects everyone since all people, communities, and governments throughout the globe know that it is an issue that threatens communities.

It is ambiguous if any UN agreement will prioritise waste management and recycling over more complex measures like limiting the manufacturing of new plastic. Big oil and chemical corporations and major plastic-producing countries like the United States are expected to protest the initiative. Plastic production, made from oil and gas, is a vital source of future revenue for energy companies as demand for fossil fuels declines with renewable energy and electric cars becoming more mainstream. Consumer goods manufacturers including Unilever and Nestle, which offer a wide range of single-use plastic products from shampoo to chocolate bars and retailer Walmart and French bank BNP Paribas, were among the more than 70 participants to the joint statement.

According to a statement, the world is at a crucial stage in developing a determined United Nations pact, emphasising that any agreement must decrease virgin plastic manufacturing and consumption. Furthermore, UNEA 5.2 is the most significant and favourable time to reverse the worldwide plastic pollution catastrophe, which cannot be overlooked.

Last year, an investigation found that as pressure builds on companies that sell items made of difficult-to-recycle plastic to deal with the waste produced, some have partnered with cement manufacturers to burn plastic waste as a cheap fuel in underdeveloped countries.

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