As talks start this week on a global plastics treaty, debate is emerging between countries wanting to limit the production of more plastics and the petrochemical industry favoring recycling as the solution to plastic waste.
The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), which is hosting the talks, released a blueprint for reducing plastic waste by 80% by 2040. The report, issued earlier this month, outlined three key areas of action: reuse, recycling and reorientation of plastic packaging to alternative materials.
Some environmental groups criticized the report for focusing on waste management, which they saw as a concession to the global plastics and petrochemicals industry.
“Real solutions to the plastics crisis will require global controls on chemicals in plastics and significant reductions in plastic production,” said Therese Karlsson, science advisor with the International Pollutants Elimination Network.
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