Plastic will be the center of attention this week in Paris. Or more precisely, the fight against plastic pollution, this scourge that destroys marine and terrestrial ecosystems and affects human health. The French capital is hosting negotiations from May 29 to June 2 for a legally binding international treaty in this area.
The 175 States involved in this work will get to the heart of the matter, the aim being to have a draft text in their hands during the next negotiation session in November.
To achieve this, France has set an objective: the negotiators must leave Paris with an agreement in principle on the binding nature of the future treaty.
The French green party, Europe Écologie Les Verts (EELV) believes that there is an urgency to act now.
“From 2 million tonnes in 1950 to over 430 million in 2020, plastic production will exceed one billion tonnes in 2050 if it continues at this rate. In 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans and the total mass of plastic will represent twice the total of living mammals. Plastic is found everywhere, even in the most remote areas,” laments a press release published on the party’s website signed by Aminata Niakaté and Sophie Bussière, national spokespersons of the EELV Circular Economy and Waste Commission.
The French green party thinks that we must favor reuse rather than recycling. The greens urge to reduce our dependence on plastic, “we must change the paradigm by moving from disposable to reusable and by putting reuse rather than recycling at the heart of our production policies. We must reduce plastic production at the source. “
An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (ICN) was created on this occasion, which is therefore meeting in Paris this week after a first technical session in Uruguay last November, for the second stage of a round which is to include five. “This treaty could be, like the Kyoto Protocol, one of the most important environmental agreements in history,” note the NGOs Zero Waste France and Surfrider Foundation Europe.
France, which positions itself resolutely in favor of an ambitious treaty, defended its position during a ministerial summit held on Saturday, prior to the opening of the actual negotiations.
“The treaty must be binding, endowed with means and an expert body. One of the challenges is to obtain a sort of plastic Giec”, explained Christophe Béchu, the French Minister for the Ecological Transition, during the debates which brought together the ministers of around sixty countries on Saturday.
EELV calls for an ambitious policy to fight against plastic production at the source, this will notably involve the use of the deposit for generalized reuse within 5 years for all packaging that would lend itself to it.