Sweden and US host high-level talks to reduce plastic pollution
Today, 1 June, Sweden and the US hosted a meeting where the business sector, civil society and some 10 countries discussed solutions to reduce plastic pollution and increase recycling of plastics.
The use of plastics causes emissions that contribute to climate change and cause pollution in nature and the oceans. This is why Sweden has been pushing for the international negotiations on a global agreement on plastics that will soon begin.
“Sweden’s goal is for the plastics that are manufactured to have a sustainable design so that they can be reused or recycled without hazardous substances remaining in circulation or impeding the chance for recycling. The impact that plastics have on the climate and the environment must also be reduced throughout the entire lifecycle. Regarding the climate impact, this is particularly relevant at the production stage, but also when it comes to disposal,” says Minister for Climate and the Environment Annika Strandhäll.
For this reason, the US and Sweden jointly invited other countries and major companies to a high-level meeting on 1 June to discuss new ways of funding the transition away from plastics and towards sustainability. There is great need of both state and private capital. Moreover, it is essential that companies develop a sustainable design of plastics so that they can be recycled more easily.
The Swedish Government will now continue its efforts to push for a legally binding global agreement on plastics. In addition, the Government recently launched a national action plan on plastics based on less plastic usage, more recycling and more new jobs.
Together, these measures on plastics are an important step for Sweden to be at the forefront of the climate transition and create new jobs throughout the country.
On 2–3 June, Sweden and Kenya will co-host the UN high-level meeting Stockholm+50 in Stockholm. This year marks 50 years since the first UN conference on the human environment – the 1972 Stockholm Conference – was held, which was initiated by Olof Palme. The aim of Stockholm+50 is to commemorate the 50th anniversary as well as to help increase the pace of the transition towards a sustainable and green society, more jobs and an environment in balance for everyone, where no one is left behind.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is the governing body of UNEP. It is the only forum where all environmental and climate issues are discussed collectively at global level. This year’s theme is ‘Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’.
Negotiations on global agreement on plastic pollution
On 2 March at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2), the countries of the world decided to initiate negotiations on a global agreement on plastic pollution. The formal negotiations will begin in autumn 2022 and are expected to last for two years.