Connecting and catalyzing ALL of the voices central to the ocean plastics crisis to advance a global treaty for plastics.
An estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year. That’s a garbage truck and a half of plastic every minute of every day. If we delay dramatic action by just five years an additional 80 million metric tons of plastic will end in the ocean by 2040. That’s fourteen Great Pyramids or two hundred fifty Empire State Buildings worth of plastic trash
That won’t just mean more beached whales with stomachs full of plastic; the human consequences will be extreme too. Healthy ocean ecosystems absorb CO2. A dead ocean has dire consequences for the climate. Plastic has already been found in the air, in the rain, in our bodies, and in our food supply.
In May of 2019, OPLN gathered 165 public and private sector leaders from organizations including Coca-Cola, Dow, Greenpeace, the American Chemistry Council, the World Bank, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and representatives of some of the world’s 15 million informal waste collectors on a on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic Garbage Patch for four days. Attendees with wildly different visions, perspectives, strategies, and objectives had the opportunity to learn from one another and stretch their imaginations in the heart of the ocean plastic crisis. Boundary-pushing conversations amongst leaders that would have never seen themselves sitting in the same room together built trusting, authentic relationships that ultimately accelerated action.
Reactions from participants in the Ocean Plastics Leadership Summit in the Atlantic Garbage Patch.
Seventy one countries have now publicly called for a global plastics treaty, while major reports released in 2020 from industry, NGOs, and government provide a useful blueprint for discussions. WWF, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Boston Consulting Group laid out the business case for a global treaty, and 30 major companies have signed onto a "Business Call for a U.N. Treaty On Plastic Pollution."
Environmental NGO groups also voiced their support for a plastics treaty in a report from the Center for International Environmental Law, the Environment Investigation Agency and GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives). The report has the backing of the Break Free from Plastic movement and Greenpeace. Finally, the Nordic Council of Ministers rolled out a 148-page report that provides a suggested framework and positioning for a future treaty.
These reports reveal there is already alignment on some fundamental points. All call for harmonized reporting on plastics throughout their life cycle, making it possible to account for everything that is being made and how it is handled..But fierce disagreements remain, The time for all parties to begin having the tough conversations required to bridge these gaps is now.
Our goals are as follows:
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