World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines welcomes the Philippine government’s endorsement of the Ocean Day Plastic Pollution Declaration, now being backed by 76 countries, which calls for negotiations to commence on a new legally binding agreement to combat plastic pollution.
In reaction to the declaration, Katherine Custodio, Executive Director for WWF-Philippines, said:
“Plastic pollution knows no boundaries and is a matter of national and global concern with destructive effects on our ecosystems and livelihoods. In the Philippines, plastic holds the third-largest share in the overall generated waste per year at 2.1 million tons, with 35% leaking into the open environment.”
“A new global treaty to stop plastic pollution will truly help developing countries such as the Philippines deal with the crisis. With the support of 76 governments and counting, including our country, more and more states are recognizing the real and urgent need to start negotiations on a global solution. We are thankful for the consistent and decisive action taken by the Philippine government and hope that this momentum continues to grow. We hope that the Philippines continues to show decisive leadership in pursuing a global solution to the plastics crisis.”
On the local front, House Bill 9147, a legislation eyeing the ban for single-use plastics, was approved on second reading last week. In the Senate, Senate Bill 1331, which aims to implement extended producer responsibility (EPR) for all packaging products, has been filed.
EPR mandates manufacturers to be held accountable for their plastic products and packaging’s end-of-life impacts, as well as to encourage holistic eco-design in the business sector. A National Plan of Action on Marine Litter is also being developed by the Philippine government to address marine debris, including plastics waste leaking to the seas.
The Ocean Day Plastic Pollution Declaration was presented last June 1 at the UN High-Level Debate on the Ocean. Eirik Lindebjerg, Global Plastics Policy Leader, WWF International, said:
“Plastic pollution is increasing at an accelerating pace and has become a major global concern. It is estimated that an alarming 11 million tons of plastic waste leak into the world’s oceans every year, and these numbers are projected to increase four-fold by 2050, with devastating effects on people and the planet.”
“A new global treaty to stop plastic pollution is urgently needed to drive accountability, set binding plastic pollution reduction targets and harmonize regulatory approaches globally. The governments endorsing this declaration recognize the global nature of the problem and the required solution. This is the first time such a large group of governments have spoken so clearly of the urgent need for countries to start negotiating a new treaty on plastic pollution. The momentum is there to make this treaty a reality.”
The declaration comes in the lead-up to the first-ever Global Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution, to be hosted by Ecuador, Ghana, Germany and Vietnam on 1–2 September this year. In the declaration, governments commit to working towards the establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee at the UN Environment Assembly, scheduled for February 2022, with a mandate to prepare a new global legally binding agreement to tackle plastic pollution.
The declaration is open for post-event endorsements by UN Member States. The global WWF network calls on all governments to endorse this declaration and contribute to the development of an ambitious and effective new treaty.
THE OCEAN DAY PLASTIC POLLUTION DECLARATION
The Ocean Day Plastic Pollution Declaration was presented by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the high-level thematic debate hosted by the President of the UN General Assembly. AOSIS is hosting the declaration which has so far been endorsed by 74 governments.
The high-level thematic debate on the ocean and Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life Below Water was convened by the President of the UN General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York on Tuesday 1 June 2021 in collaboration with the governments of Portugal and Kenya – co-hosts of the 2nd United Nations Ocean Conference, as well as H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Ocean.
More than 50 companies, 2 million people and a growing number of governments have so far called for a new UN treaty on plastic pollution.
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