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Leaders from 175 countries adopt UN resolution to end plastic pollution

The principle of national circumstances and capability while taking actions to address plastic pollution was included in the text of the resolution. (Mint)Premium
The principle of national circumstances and capability while taking actions to address plastic pollution was included in the text of the resolution. (Mint)

  • India engaged constructively with UNEA members to develop consensus on the resolution for driving global action on plastic pollution by setting up an intergovernmental negotiating committee for a new international legally binding treaty

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New Delhi: About 175 countries have adopted a resolution at the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to end plastic pollution.

The principal objectives of India’s draft resolution were addressed in the resolution on “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument". The resolution called for immediate collective voluntary action by countries.

India engaged constructively with UNEA members to develop consensus on the resolution for driving global action on plastic pollution by setting up an intergovernmental negotiating committee for a new international legally binding treaty, a statement from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change said.

"The principle of national circumstances and capability while taking actions to address plastic pollution was included in the text of the resolution to allow developing countries to follow their development trajectories, " it said.

“Under the leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has already taken resolute steps to address plastic pollution," tweeted Union Minister Bhupendra Yadav after the adoption of the historic resolution.

India also stood for not mandating the inter-governmental negotiating committee with the development of targets, definitions, formats and methodologies, at this stage, pre-judging the outcome of deliberations of the committee, said the ministry.

The provision for immediate collective voluntary actions by the countries was also included to address plastic pollution on an urgent and continual basis.

The resolution called for the member states to continue and step up activities and adopt voluntary measures to combat plastic pollution, including measures related to sustainable consumption and production. The measures might also include a circular economy approach, developing and implementing national action plans, while fostering international action and initiatives under respective national regulatory frameworks.

Earlier, India had piloted a resolution on addressing single use plastic product pollution in the fourth UNEA held in 2019, bringing global focus on the issue.

On the domestic front, the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change has put in place a ban on identified single use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential. The Guidelines on Extended Producers Responsibility on plastic packaging have also been notified. The single-use plastic ban coupled with extended producer responsibility guidelines provides a legal framework for addressing plastic pollution.

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