Recently (Reuters) - Japan's chief negotiator told Reuters that the proposed United Nations plastic waste treaty must consider imposing restrictions on the most problematic plastics. This is the first time that the country has expressed its support for limiting plastic production.
Research shows that plastic production must be curbed to control the sharp rise in plastic pollution, which is blocking waterways, plundering the sea and killing wildlife. However, it is expected that these measures will face resistance from Japan and other major producers of plastic and petrochemical products.
The first round of treaty negotiations will be held in Uruguay this week, and the agreement - described by the United Nations as the most important green agreement since the Paris Climate Agreement - is expected to be completed in 2024.
"We need to look at the production of plastics, if these (plastics) are unnecessary or there are environmentally friendly alternatives," Hiroshi Ono said in a panel discussion at Reuters NEXT meeting.
Ono added that microplastics and plastics containing "dangerous additives" that are difficult to recycle are among the materials that the treaty should deal with.
However, in the same group, Stewart Harris, a lobbyist of the American Chemical Council, warned that any move to restrict plastic production could be counterproductive.
"We need to keep in mind the tremendous value that plastic provides to society, whether it's providing clean drinking water... or ensuring that food reaches consumers," Harris said.
"If we limit production, there will be huge unexpected consequences.
It is expected that the production of plastic will double within 20 years, and the amount of plastic waste flowing into the world's oceans is expected to triple during this period.
A landmark study by the Pew Charitable Trust in 2020 found that expanding the scale of global recycling is critical to solving plastic waste, but these efforts will not prevent plastic pollution from continuing to expand without production restrictions.
"We need to turn off the tap and reduce the production of plastic, so that we can take a circular economy approach to the plastic in circulation today," said Jodie Roussell, head of global public affairs for packaging and sustainable development at Nestle (NESN). S) Tell the group.
The Swiss food and beverage giant is one of several major brands calling for a reduction in the production of native plastics to support the market for recycled materials and promote the transition to reusable packaging.
According to a report released earlier this month, large consumer goods manufacturers, including Nestle, appear to be unable to achieve the goal of making plastic packaging more sustainable by 2025.