An agreement on new rules for the use and production of plastics was overshadowed this week by Russia’s war on Ukraine. Norwegians leading the negotiations in Nairobi were no less pleased, and relieved, over the deal that aims to restrict or even end plastic pollution.
“This is a huge success and quite impressive,” declared a clearly relieved Espen Barth Eide, the Norwegian government minister in charge of climate and environmental issues who led the talks. “We now have a clear mandate for negotiations among countries on a legally binding agreement.”
Norwegian news bureau NTB noted how enormous amounts of plastic garbage wind up in the oceans and the nature, and the amount keeps growing. Tiny pieces of plasting also are found all over the world, especially in the sea. The goal is to restrict production and end such dumping, with recycling playing an important role.
An international committee will now handle the details of the agreement, with the goal of having it ratified at the next UN climate summit in 2024. The Norwegian chapter of environmental organization WWF called the agreement “fantastic” and “a turning point in the battle against plastic pollution.”