IPEN International Pollutants Elimination Network

Kenya president urges progress on global treaty against plastic pollution

Negotiators working on the world’s first treaty to curb plastic pollution need to hurry up and strike a deal, Kenyan President William Ruto said on Monday at the start of talks in Nairobi.

The world produces about 400 million metric tonnes of plastic waste annually and less than 10% of it is recycled, according to the U.N. Environment Programme.

“I urge all the negotiators to recall that 2024 is only six weeks away and (there) are only two other meetings to go,” Ruto said at the opening of the talks.

The plastics industry and oil and petrochemical exporters like Saudi Arabia do not want plastic use curtailed, arguing that the global deal should promote improved the recycling and reuse of plastic.

“The vast majority of countries are eager to advance the negotiations to get the job done,” said Pamela Miller, Co-Chair of the International Pollutants Elimination Network, a global public interest organization.

“On the other hand a small group of like-minded countries of mainly major fossil fuel, petrochemical and plastic exporters like Saudi Arabia and Russia are actively attempting to take us backwards.”

Read the full story from Reuters.