On 2 March at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi, representatives from 175 nations endorsed a resolution to end plastic pollution and develop an international legally binding agreement by 2024. The resolution, titled ‘End Plastic Pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument’, addresses the full life cycle of plastic, including its production, design and disposal.

An Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) will now be established, which is expected to create global rules and obligations to address the full life cycle of plastics, setting standards for the design of reusable and recyclable products and materials, and the need for enhanced international collaboration to facilitate access to technology, capacity building, and scientific and technical cooperation.

The legally binding agreement is expected to be completed by 2024 and will be designed to hold nations, businesses and society accountable in eliminating plastic pollution from the environment.

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