Global plastic crisis calls for integrated approach: Workie

June 29, 2022 10:20 am

United Nations Development Program Deputy Resident Representative, Yemesrach Workie.

The surge in use of non-essential and single-use plastics has created a global plastics menace, with catastrophic consequences on human and environmental health.

While addressing participants at the Plastic Circularity and Waste Management Workshop at The Pearl South Pacific Resort, United Nations Development Program Deputy Resident Representative Yemesrach Workie says the plastic industry is quickly becoming one of the highest sources of industrial greenhouse gases.

She says this makes plastics a major contributor to the climate crisis.

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“In 2019 alone, plastic production and incineration resulted in greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the emissions from 189 coal power plants. 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced annually, and this number is expected to double by 2040. 13 million tonnes of plastic waste spills into the ocean annually, killing more than 100,000 marine life each year.”

Workie says the global plastic crisis is a multifaceted and complex challenge that requires a whole system and an integrated approach to tackle.

UNDP envisions a world free of plastic pollution, and aims to work with partners to achieve three ambitious targets by 2030 in the plastics space.

As part of this, UNDP is working with stakeholders in the plastics value chain to collectively co-create an innovative portfolio of interventions for plastics circularity – using Fiji as a deep demonstration site.