BIR invited to co-chair the new Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership
BIR Environment and Trade Director Ross Bartley co-chairs the new initiative that involves various stakeholders, with the aim to improve and promote the environmentally sound management of plastic waste at the global, regional and national levels.
A new Plastic Waste Partnership has been established to mobilise business, government, academic and civil society resources, interests and expertise to improve and promote the environmentally sound management of plastic waste at the global, regional and national levels and to prevent and minimize its generation. Launched in November 2019 in Geneva, the Partnership aims to:
- strengthen policy and regulatory frameworks;
- promote the environmentally sound management of plastic wastes;
- advance collaboration with the private sector;
- and stimulate outreach, education and awareness-raising.
The Partnership will bring together actors across the entire value chain, governments, the business world, civil society and academia. So far, more than 120 members have joined the Partnership. The Partnership activities will be carried out by its working group, which is administered by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Based on a proposal by Norway, the partnership was established in May this year, related to the Decision by the 187 countries that are Parties to the UN-EP Basel Convention, on the world’s first legally binding agreement on plastic waste. Norway already pledged 2 million NOK to support the Plastic Waste Partnership, which is co-chaired by Mr Ole Thomas Thommesen, Norwegian Environment Agency and Mr Ross Bartley, Bureau of International Recycling.
The global generation of plastic waste will increase in the coming years. However, plastic wastes are currently not well managed, collection and separation are inadequate, with global recycling rates only at around 9%. It is urgent to get in place better waste management systems to prevent discharge of plastic waste into the environment and ultimately in the oceans. Waste collection systems are an absolute necessity in every country, after which recycling and recovery of plastic wastes would have to be increased significantly. The Partnership also aims at engaging the private sector in finding innovative solutions and better design of plastic products that will stay longer in the plastics value chain. Partners will also address how regulatory frameworks and policies impact on human health, the environment, and economic and social development.