Plastic waste

Plastic waste piles up on a beach off Panama City. Nations will try to negotiate a new treaty aimed at reducing the global problem. LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

World’s Nations Start to Hammer out First Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution

SEA's Dr. Kara Lavender Law was quoted in a recent article about the upcoming session of the United Nations Environment Assembly and a new global treaty intended to curb plastic pollution.

Each year, an estimated 11 million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean, equivalent to a cargo ship’s worth every day. The rising tide—in the oceans and beyond—is just a symptom of much wider problems: unsustainable product design, short-sighted consumption, and insufficient waste management, scientists say. To curb the flood, says Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia, “we need to take more action and it needs to be further upstream” in the production process.

That’s exactly what negotiators from 193 countries are setting out to do when they meet in Nairobi, Kenya, next week. Their ambitious goal: to create a negotiating committee that will try to hammer out, within 2 years, a new global treaty intended to curb plastic pollution.

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Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications | 508-444-1918 | |

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