Uniting Against Plastic Pollution

3 May 2024

Uniting Against Plastic Pollution

Local and subnational governments, led by ICLEI, the Government of Québec, the Government of Catalonia, and UCLG, have embarked on a mission: the establishment of the Global Coalition of Local and Subnational Governments (LSNGs) to End Plastic Pollution. This initiative has launched a call for action, rallying the world's leaders to confront one of the most urgent environmental challenges of our time.

Plastic pollution has spiralled into a global crisis, with production skyrocketing to over 460 million tons annually, yet a mere 9% finding its way to recycling facilities. The stark reality is that since the 1950s, a staggering 79% of plastics have ended up in landfills or infiltrated our fragile ecosystems. As plastic waste ravages our oceans, comprising 85% of marine debris, the imperative to act becomes unequivocal.

The coalition's primary objective is clear: to halt the relentless advance of plastic pollution. It aims to ensure that local and subnational governments' indispensable role in tackling this crisis is acknowledged and integrated into the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee's deliberations. Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI, underscores the urgency, stating, "Considerations from local and subnational governments must be woven into negotiations to forge an ambitious plastics treaty that enables collective action across all levels of governance."

The coalition recognises the multifaceted nature of plastic pollution, necessitating a comprehensive response. With local and subnational governments at the forefront, it advocates for global regulations spanning the entire plastic lifecycle, holding stakeholders accountable and prioritising waste reduction measures.

To catalyse this global effort, the LSNG Coalition urges Member States to:

  • Include LSNGs in the Negotiation Process
  • Recognise and Support LSNGs pivotal role in the implementation of the treaty
  • Follow a Comprehensive Approach by developing a robust framework covering the entire plastic lifecycle.

Moreover, the coalition seeks to ensure that the international instrument on plastic pollution aligns with the principles of a Just Transition, promoting healthy communities and sustainable economies. LSNG representatives are invited to endorse this effort by signing the Coalition Statement.

For those eager to join the fight against plastic pollution, further information and the Coalition Statement can be found here.

Image (Unsplash) by "Volodymyr Hryshchenko"

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