G7 countries pledge to end plastics pollution by 2040
The new commitment was agreed to by all seven national governments and the EU, which attends.
The Group of Seven (G7) industrialized nations – Canada, the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, and Italy – have committed to ending plastics pollution by 2040, including taking steps to reduce microplastics and consider phase-outs of nonrecyclable plastics and “harmful” additives.
Germany, France, Canada, Britain and the European Union (EU) are already part of a multi-national coalition that made the same pledge last year, but this is the first time the remaining G7 members – Japan, the U.S., and Italy – have made the 2040 commitment.
The commitment came during an April 16-17 meeting of the bloc’s environment ministers in Sapporo, Japan.
“We are committed to end plastic pollution, with the ambition to reduce additional plastic pollution to zero by 2040,” the G7 said in an April 16 statement.
The phase-out will be achieved by “promoting sustainable consumption and production of plastics, increasing their circularity in the economy, and environmentally sound management of waste,” the statement continued.
G7 declarations are not binding, but the statement said the countries would “step up our actions based on a comprehensive lifecycle approach, promoting sustainable consumption and production of plastics, increasing their circularity in the economy and environmentally sound management of waste.”
“These actions include…addressing single-use plastics, nonrecyclable plastics as well as plastics with harmful additives through measures such as phasing out when possible and reducing their production and consumption; applying tools to internalize attributable costs of plastic pollution; and addressing the sources, pathways and impacts of microplastics,” the statement said.
Plastic waste has doubled globally in 20 years and only about nine per cent is successfully recycled, according to global statistics.
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