Brenda Koekkoek - UNEP
Hemantha Withanage - Centre for Environmental Justice
Andrés Del Castillo - CIEL - Center for International Environmental Law
MARIA GARCIA - Geneva
Plastic pollution occurs across the life-cycle of plastics, with negative impacts on marine ecosystems, on land and on the climate, as well as on public health and sustainable development. There is growing recognition of the scale and urgency of global plastic pollution crisis, and of the need to tackle the ‘upstream’ sources of plastic proliferation and pollution alongside efforts to address ‘downstream’ waste.
In 2021, over 100 countries are calling for a new global agreement to tackle plastic pollution and for a decision on next steps at the UN Environmental Assembly (UNEA) in 2022. Alongside, over 190 countries have signed new amendments to the Basel Convention to better regulate trade in plastic waste. In addition, over 50 WTO Members have cosponsored a Ministerial Statement on Plastic Pollution to be launched at the WTO’s 2021 Ministerial Conference.
How has plastic trade affected communities and the environment? Why are trade policies relevant and how can they support and complement international commitments and evolving international efforts to tackle plastic pollution? This session will seek to address some of these questions.