The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has issued a response to the recently announced UN resolution on ocean plastic waste.
At an environment summit in Kenya on 6 December UN delegates agreed a new non-binding resolution to stop plastic waste entering the world’s oceans, a problem which UN ocean chief Lisa Svensson described as a “planetary crisis”.
The agreement includes the formation of an international task force that will advise countries how to combat pollution.
The BPF said: “The British Plastics Federation welcomes the ambition of the United Nations to stop plastics from entering the sea. We too believe that international action is needed to make a real impact when it comes to stopping this recyclable material from entering the marine environment.
“We hope that now this issue has gained the attention of politicians and the public throughout the world that appropriate, evidence-based measures can be brought in to suit each particular country, taking into account important factors like culture, geography and the existing waste infrastructure.
Looking more closely at the cause of, and measures that can be taken to combat, the problem the BPF added: “Although in the UK we have an effective household waste collection infrastructure to minimise the amount of this material ending up in the marine environment, we need a zero-tolerance approach to littering. To maximise recycling rates in the UK, we believe that the government should continue to consult with industry to further improve and simplify the waste management infrastructure and implement an effective national ‘on the go’ recycling system to make it easy for consumers to recycle all materials.
“Everyone has a role to play in keeping this unique, resource-efficient, hygienic and lightweight material functioning positively within a circular economy, where it brings many benefits, including reducing food and product waste and lowering CO2 emissions. We are now one step closer to a society that understands plastics as the valuable, recyclable resource they are, which simply need to be disposed of responsibly so that we can continue to benefit from their unique properties.”
?By Tony Corbin