UPDATE: 3 MARCH 2022
The 174 nations including Australia get a big tick for agreeing to develop a global plastic pollution treaty. The resolution coming out of negotiations in Nairobi has now established the framework of a binding treaty, that will address the full lifecycle of plastic including production and design as well as waste and pollution. This is a set-back for the fossil fuel sector who wanted to limit agreements to waste and litter issues, but who will no doubt continue their lobbying.
Fulfillment of the intention to finalise a treaty by 2024 can’t come soon enough. In the interim, jurisdictions like those in Australia should continue to enact strong plastic use and waste reduction laws. An effective treaty is predicted to reduce plastic pollution by 80% by 2040; and virgin plastic use by 55%* - but it is essential nations curb these drivers even faster. Australia is well placed to do this to protect our oceans and health.
Including production and design in the treaty was crucial. Without this, some could ignore their obligations and affected countries would be condemned to perpetually cleaning up plastic pollution, whilst manufacturers could avoid responsibility for the products they produce.
The Boomerang Alliance acknowledges the positive role the Commonwealth has played in supporting this week’s treaty developments.
What we also now need is action that includes providing funding for clean ups in Northern Australia and, through foreign aid assist countries in our region to both clean up and then recycle plastics, often washed ashore from elsewhere.
We look forward to seeing allocations in the upcoming budget and in the election commitments of the political parties at the next Federal election across a range of measures to combat plastic pollution.
With an estimated 11 million tonnes of plastic waste entering our oceans every year – global, national and local action is vital to stop this. The Boomerang Alliance is working at all three levels and now we have joined the push for a marine plastic treaty.
Australia, with its vast ocean estate and place in the Indo-Pacific must play an active role.
The good news is that the Australian Government has announced support for a global treaty and is now consulting key groups about its contents. We need an effective and binding contract and Australia should be a leader in the negotiations and strengthen the voice of Pacific nations. We should aim for zero plastic pollution.
The Australian position will be finalised over November-January, with the UN meeting in February, 2022.
You can use the following points and easy links to contact the government:
- Thank you for supporting a global treaty on marine plastic pollution.
- We need a treaty with ambitious targets to stop plastic pollution that also provides investment and support for countries without adequate waste prevention and recycling; and is enforceable.
- I hope that the Australian Government can lead by convincing other nations to join and support an effective treaty that will quickly bring plastic pollution under control.