Can a Global Plastic Treaty Work?

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Countries have come together to decide how to contain plastic pollution. They hope to establish legally binding rules by 2024.

  • Plastic is immensely polluting, and at the same time quite versatile. It is used so many products, that completely eliminating it is a daunting task.
  • Of all the plastic that has ever been produced, less than 10% has been recycled. The majority of plastic pollution is generated by single-use plastics and untreated plastic waste.
  • The Global Plastic Treaty may well have the same kind of impact as the 1989 Montreal Protocol, which phased out the production of substances responsible for the Ozone-layer depletion.
  • Invisible components called microplastics come from decomposing plastic released into water and air. Microplastics enter the human food chain through marine life.
  • Given the abundant uses of plastic, a complete ban on the material is impractical. But there is certainly scope to reduce single-use plastics. This has already happened in some parts of the world.
  • There has already been some opposition to the treaty from manufacturers, and also countries like India, the USA and Japan. Can the world come to a consensus on reducing plastic pollution?
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