Towards A New Global Governance Approach To Address Plastic Pollution

Despite the growing recognition that long-term, comprehensive, and multilateral action is necessary, no international agreement exists that focuses primarily on combating plastic pollution. 

To address this, the Center for International Law (CIEL) and the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), with Plastic Solutions Fund support, will work with a coalition of partners to advocate for a binding treaty at the United Nations Environmental Assembly to address the plastic crisis on a global scale — from wellhead extraction to ocean pollution. 

In addition, they will work to strengthen existing international and regional instruments to more effectively address plastic pollution. A focus will be advocating for a proposal to amend the Basel Convention on the Controls of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Waste and their Disposal to ensure countries most threatened by plastic pollution can refuse plastic waste they cannot safely manage and better protect their environment and population.

Additional areas of focus also include the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (MARPOL) and other maritime-related instruments, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM). 

If fully implemented, these changes are poised to restructure the entire waste industry and fundamentally change the economy that allowed developed countries to hide their plastic waste problems in the Global South.

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