New report offers global outlook on efforts to beat plastic pollution

A new report from United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has found a surging momentum in global efforts to address plastic pollution.

The findings are contained in the UNEP’s first comprehensive global assessment of governments’ action against plastic pollution.

The assessment according to the UNEP Head, Erik Solheim features best practices and lessons learned from case studies on single-use bans, levies and other forms of government interventions.

The first-of-its-kind accounting found that governments were increasing the pace of implementation and the scope of action to curb the use of single-use plastics.

In a press release on Tuesday, while marking the World Environment Day, UNEP said it had assembled experiences and assessments of the various measures and regulations to beat plastic pollution.

The report headed as, Single-use Plastics: A roadmap for Sustainability and what is framed as the first comprehensive review of state of plastics, the UNEP head notes that the plastics were not a problem but what we do with them.

And the assessment shows that action can be painless and profitable, with huge gains for people and the planet that help avert the costly downstream costs of pollution.

The report analyses the complex relationships in our plastics economy and offers an approach to rethink how the world produces, uses and manages single-use plastics, Solheim noted.

The report, he added, recognises that single-use plastic waste generation and waste management practices differ across regions, and no single measure against pollution will be equally effective everywhere.

The authors, Solheim said, outline 10 universal steps for policymakers to tackle the issue in their communities.

Among the recommendations are specific actions policy makers can take to improve waste management, promote eco-friendly alternatives, educate consumers, enable voluntary reduction strategies and successfully implement bans or levies on the use and sale of single-use plastics

This global outlook was developed in cooperation with the Indian Government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and presents case studies from more than 60 countries.

Among the key findings, the report states that government levies and bans � where properly planned and enforced � have been among the most effective strategies to limit overuse of disposable plastic products.

However, the report goes on to cite the fundamental need for broader cooperation from business and private sector stakeholders offering a roadmap for upstream solutions, including extended producer responsibility and incentives for adoption of a more circular economy approach to plastic production and consumption.

The report was also officially launched in New Delhi today by Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Head of UN Environment Erik Solheim on the occasion of World Environment Day.

Under the theme: Beat Plastic Pollution, World Environment Day, 2018 is issuing a call to action to individuals, governments, the public and the private sector to examine joint solutions to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife and our own health.

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment, as it provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future.

Source: Kenya News Agency