Greenpeace Aotearoa has renewed calls for the government to advocate for a strong, legally-binding global plastics treaty as world governments meet at the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting (INC1) in Uruguay next month.
A petition for a plastics treaty that centers justice launched earlier this year by Greenpeace Aotearoa ahead of the United Nations Environment Assembly 5.2 and has already gathered over 27,000 signatures.
“A strong global plastics treaty means keeping oil and gas in the ground, holding big polluters accountable and building refill and reuse systems to eliminate the need for single-use plastics,” Greenpeace Aotearoa spokesperson Juressa Lee says.
“It means a fair and equitable transition for affected workers and frontline communities, protecting the climate and delivering a clean, safe planet for future generations.”
This month, the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) and Stats NZ released its report Our Marine Environment 2022, highlighting the devastating impacts of plastic and microplastics.
The report reveals that microplastics were found in 75 percent of fish across 10 commercially valuable species in southern New Zealand.
Lee says that because of interconnecting oceans and a global supply chain, we need world governments to work together for a solution that matches the scale of the problem, and we need leadership from the New Zealand Government.
“An ambitious global plastics treaty has the potential to put the world on a path towards a plastic-free future but world governments need to be sure that it delivers on its promises.
“Plastic pollution threatens our health and that of our future generations. It’s choking our oceans and killing precious wildlife, and now that it has entered our food chain and even breast milk – we’re eating it, and so are our newborn pēpi, ” Lee says.
“As tangata whenua and tangata moana, I know that our indigenous and coastal communities in the Pacific are frontline to plastic pollution as well as the climate crisis, that plastic production is also fueling. Yet these communities contribute the least to causing these crises. These lived experiences and indigenous knowledge will be key to a just plastics treaty that will turn off the plastic tap, and we will help amplify these and demand that they’re at the negotiating table.”
Call on the NZ Government to ban unnecessary single-use plastic bottles* in NZ, and to incentivise reusable and refillable alternatives.