Despite implementation of numerous national and regional initiatives around the world to address plastics pollution, serious challenges persist. Noting this, the United Nations Environment Assembly has made several resolutions in this area including a call to Member States to take comprehensive action including through legislation to address plastics pollution (paragraph 6 of UNEA Resolution 4/9 on addressing single-use plastic products pollution), and a request for the UNEP Secretariat to gather information with a view to informing policies and action for reducing the risk of discharges of litter, including plastic litter and microplastics, into the marine environment, taking into account the whole life cycle of plastics, in support of local, national, regional and global action (paragraph 2(d) of UNEA Resolution 4/6). Most recently, in Resolution 5/14 in March 2022, the Assembly requested the United Nations Environment Programme to convene an intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastic.
In response to the above Resolutions the secretariat has developed this legal toolkit on plastics pollution prevention to assist legislators and policymakers in the development and strengthening of their regulatory frameworks. Read more.