More than 70 companies and financial institutions have signed a petition calling on the United Nations (UN) to launch a legally binding Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution.
In a first for the business community, companies, including UK-based Local Pension Partnership Investments, BNP Paribas Asset Management and Fortune 500 companies such as Nestlé and The Coca-Cola Company, signed a joint statement calling for a new UN treaty based on “a circular economy approach to address plastic pollution on a global scale.”
The statement was released ahead of the United Nations Environment Assembly conference at the end of February. The signatories also highlighted three key points they wanted the treaty to address.
The first point is that the treaty should include upstream and downstream policies to keep plastics in the economy and out of the environment and to prevent the production of plastics by fossil fuels.
The second point of the petition is that the treaty should set a clear direction that will align governments, businesses and society to understand how plastic pollution is created and a common approach to solve the problem. This will create a level playing field for businesses and investors and a set of standardised or complementary solutions that will make the circular economy work in practice and on a large scale, the petition said.
The third point of the manifesto states that a governance structure should be set up to ensure the country’s participation and compliance with the treaty. It will also include investments that build innovation, infrastructure and skills in countries that need international support.
“It is no longer a question of whether we need a treaty on plastic pollution, it’s more about what this treaty must look like in order to tackle today’s still rampant plastic pollution crisis,” World Wildlife Fund International director general Marco Lambertini said in a statement.
The petition also urges UN members to set up an intergovernmental negotiation committee, which will then draft the treaty.