Second meeting of UNEA Expert Group Meeting - Progress on Plastics newsletters

Second meeting of UNEA Expert Group Meeting - Progress on Plastics newsletters

From 3 to 7 December 2018, the second meeting of UNEA (United Nations Environment Assembly) Expert Group  was held by UN Environment in Geneva to present options to combat marine plastic litter and microplastics for global consideration of member states, experts and civil society.

Over 300 people, members of numerous governments, representatives of regional and international conventions, the private sector and NGOs from right around the world, were brought together to reflect on concrete recommendations to solve legal, financial and technological obstacles in a bid to combat this pollution.

The Race for Water Foundation, accredited to the UN Environment programme, was invited to participate as an NGO. In this way, Camille Rollin, Project Manager of the Race for Water’s Act Programme, was able to take part in the debates.

“This type of seminar was a first for me. It was not an easy exercise getting 300 people, each with their own interests and sometimes at odds with one another, to consider how to resolve a global crisis, the responsibilities for which are so divided. Even though discussions remained overly conceptual at times to my mind, it is reassuring to see that the problem of plastic and marine microplastic waste is one of the priorities on the decision makers’ agenda. A multitude of actions have already been carried out regarding marine plastic and microplastic waste, and there are already international and regional governance tools in existence. They could initially be reinforced by taking into account the specific features of plastic as a product and as waste. However, an effective response to this major problem would require a dedicated international agreement that is legally binding. And it is on this point where opinion differed most between the various protagonists. Let’s hope that it won’t take decades before this agreement is signed.”

Following this meeting, the Break Free From Plastic Movement published two newsletters to gather the main information shared during this event. You can find them both in attachment.

For more information on this UNEA Expert Group Meeting you can also visit our article: https://www.raceforwater.org/en/news/reunion-dexperts-mandates-par-lonu-environnement/