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We Need a Global Treaty to End Production of Virgin Plastic by 2040

We urgently need a binding global treaty that would stop the production of “virgin” of new plastic once for good, says a special report in the journal Science.

We urgently need a binding global treaty that would stop the production of “virgin” of new plastic once for good, says a special report in the journal Science.

According to the authors, such an agreement is essential in solving plastic pollution in the oceans and on land. 

The Guardian reports that a new global treaty should cover the entire lifecycle of plastics, from the procurement of raw materials to pollution. 

Plastics are ubiquitously found in increasing amounts worldwide, including in terrestrial environments and even inside the human body. The authors say the very properties that have made plastic an apparently essential modern material also make it a serious environmental threat.


Sandra Laville, Environment Correspondent, The Guardian

But even if plastic is here to stay, we can do a lot to reduce its social and environmental impact.

The first step is to embrace a transformative approach that would minimize the production of virgin plastic materials. The second step is to create a circular economy for plastics that would include incentivizing reuse and refill. 

This would help phase out single-use plastic containers.      

The third step should start cleaning up the vast plastic footprint across the world, primarily by targeting clogged waterways, drains, and sewers that can spread plastic waste along their banks and into the ocean.    


Nikola uses his background in electrical engineering to break down complex sustainability topics for GreenCitizen's readers. He is a firm believer in environmental conservation, which he practices daily through recycling and home-grown food. He enjoys hiking, engaging in white-water sports, and collecting pocket knives.

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