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Greenpeace Africa Demands a Strong Global Plastic Treaty

The iconic Hilton hotel was all lit up with a 3D projection with an End the age of plastic message in support of the upcoming second Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee session (INC2) that is happening in Paris, France, from 29 May to 2 June.

INC2 is the second in a series of five negotiating meetings happening over the next two years in an effort to secure a strong, legally binding global agreement to curb the plastic pollution crisis.

“Ahead of the negotiations for the treaty we decided to put up this important message to remind our leaders and other stakeholders not to waste this once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to finally turn off the tap and end the age of plastic,” said Greenpeace Africa’s Communication and Story Manager, Hellen Kahaso Dena. “We hope the treaty will safeguard the climate and ensure a fair and equitable transition for workers and the health of all the affected communities.”

Despite increasing evidence on the impact of plastic pollution on people’s health as well as the environment, plastic production has continued to increase year on year. With 99% of plastics being made from fossil fuels, plastic production is a major driver of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss. Plastic production harms communities and workers living near production sites and landfills.

“This year alone, we have seen the devastating impacts of the climate crisis; from droughts in Kenya to deadly cyclones and floods in Malawi and in the DRC. This treaty is an opportunity for our leaders to stop big polluters with their relentless plastic production and to protect our climate and affected communities from these climate impacts,” said Dena.

“We are confident that Africa’s governments will adopt and champion a strong global treaty that will end plastic pollution through a phase out of plastic production to protect the environment and human rights of Africans,” continued Dena.

Plastic is polluting throughout its entire lifecycle from the moment it is extracted to its disposal. Plastic proponents and corporations need to stop relying on big oil and instead invest in reuse and refill models.

Dena said that countries such as Rwanda and Kenya need to show leadership on this issue and match the urgency of the crisis by championing an ambitious plastics treaty.

“We urge Africa’s governments to ensure that there is fair and equitable representation throughout the negotiation and implementation process from communities disproportionately affected by the plastic pollution crisis. African leaders can adopt a progressive plan that supports ambitious goals for a new plastic agreement to solve the plastic pollution crisis,” concluded Dena.

By Joseph Ng’ang’a

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