Chronicle Hindi Book 2022

Resolution on Plastic Pollution adopted by 175 Countries

At the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2-held at Nairobi), a resolution was adopted by 175 countries to end plastic pollution.

  • The resolution, based on three initial draft resolutions from various nations (one from India), establishes an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) which will begin its work this year, aiming to complete a draft legally binding agreement by the end of 2024.
  • The resolution noted that “the high and rapidly increasing levels of plastic pollution represent a serious environmental problem at a global scale, negatively impacting the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainable development.”
  • Vitally, the agreement addresses the whole lifecycle of plastic, from its production to its disposal.

(Image Source: downtoearth)

The Negotiation Process

  • The basis for the negotiations was three draft resolutions, a joint one by Rwanda-Peru, which was endorsed by 60 countries, Japan and India.

India’s Text

  • The Indian text proposed voluntary action, which remained a separate document throughout the negotiations, with a majority of countries favouring binding commitments. The term voluntary was retained as an option upon insistence by India.
  • India was also keen on the insertion of the words “national circumstances and capabilities” in the text which is in alignment with its position of common but differentiated responsibility under the Paris agreement.

India’s Initiatives to tackle Plastic Pollution

  • 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 provide legal framework for addressing plastic pollution.