A ground-breaking global vision for a future free from plastic pollution by a network of 90 non-governmental organisations was announced yesterday.
The objective, envisioned by the likes of Zero Waste Europe, Friends of the Earth, Health and Environment Alliance, and ChemTrust is laid out in 10 principals, all of which work for a future without plastic pollution.
Scientists predict that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea – threatening marine biodiversity, while at the same time, posing a great risk to human health.
Despite this, the initiative represents the first global step to change society’s perception and use of plastics.
Delphine Lévi Alvarès, Zero Waste Europe policy officer and coordinator of the European plastics alignment process said that:
This is the first time that groups from all around the world have come together to find a common solution to the problem of plastic pollution.
“It is the beginning of a movement which will lead to governments, cities and companies taking major action to tackle this ever-growing problem.”
The ten principles outlined by the NGOs are as follows:
- Our lifestyles and economy fit within the environment limits of the planet.
- Waste is reduced, first and foremost.
- The life cycle of the materials and products we use – from extraction and production, to end use, recycling, composting, and disposal – sustain the health of the people and the planet.
- Strong community action and partnerships among citizens, workers, government sector experts, and supportive business leaders guide decisions about the present and future material design, manufacturing, and waste management.
- Waste pickers and recycling workers are supported to improve the systems they operate in and can co-lead a just transition to a new and safe materials economy.
- Producers take responsibility for the full life cycle costs and impacts of their products and packaging, and are redesigning and innovating better materials and systems.
- Where plastic products and packages are necessary, they are re-used, repaired, or, failing that, recycled; and toxic substances are eliminated from their production.
- No new incinerators are constructed, and renewable energy incentives are eliminated for plastics and waste burning. This includes gasification, pyrolysis, cement kilns, and other burn “waste-to-energy” facilities.
- Organic waste returns to the soils and zero waste systems reduce reliance on landfills and incinerators.
- The systems we build and materials we use slow climate change, rather than accelerate it.
You can watch a video about the initiative below: