Plastic Pollution

The Gloves Come Off: Global Businesses Recruit UN for Plastic Pollution Solution – Triple Pundit

Despite rising concern over the global plastic pollution crisis, the amount of plastic entering the environment has continued apace. Public pressure has resulted in a weak patchwork of nation-based regulations and voluntary efforts, but they have failed to stem the tide. Now a group of global corporations has joined together to support a coordinated, treaty-based circular economy strategy through the United Nations. The question is, will it succeed where others have failed?

A treaty-based effort on plastic pollution

The new plastic pollution effort launched last week under a partnership between the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, WWF and the firm Boston Consulting Group, following a jointly authored report, The Business Case for a UN Treaty. “Despite a doubling of voluntary initiatives and national regulations over the last five years, plastic waste continues to leak into the environment at alarming rates – with more than 11 million [metric tons] of plastic flowing into our oceans each year,” explain the partners.

They acknowledge that voluntary support has grown in recent years, highlighted by the the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which just recruited the U.S. as part of its Plastics Pact network.

However, the effort to support a circular economy has been outrun by the bottom-up demand for plastic. A more intensive, top-down approach is needed.

A binding global agreement that builds on the vision of a circular economy for plastic can ensure a unified international response to plastic pollution that matches the scale of the problem,” explained Ellen MacArthur, who