Plastic contamination is a pressing emergency compromising our planet’s and our networks’ prosperity.
The terrestrial and aquatic biota that live in our rivers and oceans consume an increasing amount of plastic, which has also entered the water and food that humans consume. Plastics now weigh more than all land and sea animals combined, demonstrating the devastating effects of plastic pollution.
By 2040, plastic leakage into the ocean will triple if we continue on this business as usual course. Plastic production will double. To combat this global issue and demand action from our governments and businesses, Africans must band together.
Fortunately, there is reason for optimism. After years of policy advocacy and campaigning, the resolution to end plastic pollution was unanimously adopted by 175 UN member countries at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in March 2022. The time has come for us to seize this opportunity and push for global rules and measures that cover the entire life cycle of plastic and are binding.
To make ready for powerful change, we should draw on the suggestions illustrated in the WWF’s plastic report, which features basic answers for battle plastic contamination.
The treaty must first and foremost include globally binding measures to prohibit, reduce, safely circulate, and manage high-risk plastics. We should focus on plastics with the most noteworthy contamination gambles and recognize explicit items, applications, and synthetics of concern.
Cutlery, plates, cups, cotton bud sticks, and cigarette filters are examples of single-use, short-lived plastic products that should be immediately banned worldwide. After an underlying practicality evaluation at the worldwide level, it was found that these boycotts might be carried out with next to no plain negative natural and financial results; However, it might be necessary to evaluate any national socioeconomic repercussions.
In addition, it is essential to ensure that any alternatives or substitutes for these products are appropriate for their intended use, fit the local context, and prevent additional unintended effects on the environment and economy.
The treaty must be accompanied by ambitious mechanisms that provide capacity strengthening, technology transfers, and technical and financial support for successful implementation. We should really focus on the requirements of the most un-created nations and little island creating states, guaranteeing that each country is upheld in actually tending to plastic contamination.
Plastics are net imported into the majority of African nations; However, the current infrastructure for collecting, sorting, and managing waste cannot handle the influx of plastics into the continent. Inclusion and cooperation are essential to this treaty’s success.
While agreement is the goal of multilateral cycles, policymakers should guarantee that no single nation can reject the advancement of the worldwide local area. For the creation of a treaty that both addresses local concerns and represents global input—essential for a just transition—meaningful consultations with stakeholders, including those in the informal sector and communities that are most affected by plastic pollution, are essential.
This plastic contamination settlement is a defining moment in mankind’s set of experiences, offering a help to our planet. It is our opportunity to dispose of the plastics that incur the most damage for our kin, untamed life, and biological systems. In addition, it gives us a chance to move away from the single-use mentality that is making the climate crisis worse. This enables us to actively shape a future that values and safeguards nature and fosters favorable ecological outcomes for upcoming generations.
Governments need to step up to the plate and increase their goals. The equitable finished (June 2) meeting of the intergovernmental exchange board in Paris was an optimal stage to harden the control estimates framed in the WWF’s plastic report.
We, as Africans, have the information and means to handle plastic contamination head-on. The global treaty on plastic pollution is our one chance to learn from our mistakes. We should band together, call for action, and hold our governments and businesses accountable.
Together, we can defend our current circumstance, safeguard our untamed life, and guarantee the prosperity, everything being equal, including homegrown and cultivated creatures. We can also ensure a sustainable future for Africa and the world by promoting healthy communities and individuals.