180 nations agree to UN deal to regulate export of plastic waste. 

Around 180 governments on Friday agreed to a new UN accord to regulate the export of plastic waste, some eight million tons of which ends up in the oceans each year, organisers said.

The 1,400 representatives meeting in Geneva reached the agreement after 12 days discussion on what Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the UN Environment Programme [UNEP] called ''one of the world's most pressing environmental issues.''

The Geneva meeting amended the 1989 Basel Convention or the control of hazardous wastes to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework.

''I'm proud that this week in Geneva, Parties to the Base Convention have reached agreement on a  legally-binding, globally reaching mechanism for managing plastic waste dumping,'' said Payet.

The IPEN umbrella group seeking to eliminate hazardous, toxic chemicals said the new amendment would empower developing countries to refuse plastic waste dumping.''

''For far too long developed countries like the US and Canada have been exporting their mixed toxic plastic wastes to developing Asian countries claiming that it would be recycled in the receiving country.

''Instead, much of this contaminated mixed waste cannot be recycled and is instead dumped or burned, or finds its way into the ocean,'' said IPEN science advisor Sara Brosche.

Plastic waste pollution has reached ''epidemic proportions'' with an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic now found in the oceans.

The Geneva meeting also undertook to eliminate two toxic chemical groups. [Agencies]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!