Dubai, March, 2022: In response to the challenge of plastic waste, a resolution was negotiated at the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi. GPCA supports the historic resolution titled “End plastic pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument”, which proposes a legally-binding instrument that includes binding and voluntary provisions that will be developed by the International Negotiating Committee (INC). The work is set to begin this year, aiming to complete the draft agreement by end of 2024.
The resolution mandates to address the full lifecycle of plastics, the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials focusing on circularity. It is estimated that the shift to a circular economy will reduce plastics entering oceans by over 80 percent by 2040, reduce virgin plastic production by 55 percent and save governments 70 billion dollars by 2040.
In this context, Dr. Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary-General of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), expressed his contentment with the resolution’s draft, which crucially recognizes that there is no one single approach to tackling the global problem of plastic pollution, and that governments must be provided with a level of flexibility to adopt measures that are based on local circumstances and supported by the most appropriate enabling policies.
He also stressed that all waste, including plastic waste, is unacceptable in our environment. He also applauded the resolution from UNEA for recognizing the vital role that plastic products play in advancing and improving our daily lives in a sustainable way and emphasized the value they bring in a circular economy
The resolution also highlights the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building and scientific and technical cooperation. The UN Environment Program (UNEP) will convene a forum by the end of 2022 that is open to all stakeholders in conjunction with the first session of the INC, to share knowledge and best practices in different parts of the world. It will facilitate open discussions and ensure they are informed by science, reporting on progress throughout the next two years.