Global sustainable technology company TOMRA has today backed calls for a United Nations treaty to address global plastic pollution.
The Norway-headquartered company has signed an international corporate manifesto, The Business Call for a UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, which calls on governments worldwide to agree upon a UN treaty to tackle plastic pollution.
The manifesto, which has been signed by 29 businesses across the world, comes in support of a new report released by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), management consultancy Boston Consulting Group and circular economy champion the Ellen Macarthur Foundation.
The report warns that a global legally-binding environmental agreement negotiated under the auspices of the UN is needed to help stop 11 million metric tonnes of plastic flowing into the ocean each year.
Commenting on the manifesto, TOMRA President and CEO, Stefan Ranstrand, said: “Plastic pollution is a worldwide problem and costs the global economy an estimated $2 trillion USD every year. The evidence we have also suggested that current approaches to stopping plastic waste from entering our ecosystems are failing, so urgent action is needed.
“It is important businesses recognize they have a crucial role to play in tackling the threat posed by plastic pollution and that there is a lot they can do to reduce their environmental impact. This includes a whole range of activities, from auditing business supply chains to improve their sustainability to adopting new business operations that embrace circular economy models and maximize resource value.”
As well as businesses taking a proactive approach to waste reduction, TOMRA believes leadership from governments across the globe is key to tackling the plastic pollution crisis. By developing national targets and action plans, supporting sustainable infrastructure development, and working to harmonize standards, governments can have a huge impact on plastic waste.
Stefan continued: “For this to happen, however, we need to see a coordinated effort and that is why we’re supporting calls for a UN treaty to tackle plastic pollution. Agreeing on a treaty should be a real priority because it will help instigate the global action we need to see from governments and stakeholders to turn the tide on growing plastic pollution.”
The call for action comes ahead of the fifth session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly, which is expected to take place in February 2021 and offers a pivotal opportunity to adopt a formal negotiations mandate for an international agreement. The assembly has previously adopted several resolutions that recognize plastic pollution as a global problem.
WWF global plastics policy manager, Eirik Lindebjerg, added “For the first time, we can conclude that a global, binding agreement on plastic pollution is essential for the environment and at the same time good for business.
“This report aligns business with governments and organizations. It strengthens the key message on what the world needs in order to tackle the problem with plastic pollution, which is global cooperation.”