In February 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) adopted a historic resolution (resolution 5/14) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution. The resolution takes a comprehensive approach that addresses the entire lifecycle of plastics, with the ambitious goal of completing negotiations by the end of 2024.
Plastic pollution is one of the fastest growing global environmental problems with serious environmental, social, economic and health impacts. According to current projections, without intervention, the amount of plastic waste entering aquatic ecosystems is expected to increase from 23 million to 37 million tonnes per year by 2040.
There have been various international initiatives to address these issues. In 2015, the G20 Action Plan on Marine Litter was formulated at the G20 Hamburg Summit; in 2019, the G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter was adopted at the G20 Ministers’ Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth; in 2020, the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision was agreed at the G20 Osaka Summit.
Also in Japan, the Law for the Act on Promoting the Treatment of Marine Debris was amended in 2018. In 2019, a Resource Circulation Strategy for Plastics will be developed, which aims to reduce emissions of single-use plastics, promote reuse and recycling, and make effective use of used plastics, including heat recovery.
The Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC 2) will be held from 29 May to 2 June 2023 at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, France. The conference is designed to develop an international legally binding instrument (INC 2) on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment. A regional consultation will also be held at the same venue on 28 May 2023, the day before the conference.
For local governments, ICLEI is calling on them to join the Global Plastic Treaty.
More information (English): Cities in the Global Plastics Treaty
ICLEI Japan members’ initiatives to reduce plastic waste
- Aichi Prefecture | Awareness-raising video to learn about reducing plastic waste (Japanese)
- Okayama City｜Okayama Marine Litter Gatekeeper (Japanese)
- Okayama City｜For the society by which SDGs sea river forum 2023 continuation is possible (English)
- Kawasaki City｜19th Kawasaki International Eco-Business Forum (English available)
- Kitakyushu City | Sea Cleaning Plant & Robot Dream Contest 2022 (English available)
- Tokyo Metropolitan Government｜TMG Online Symposium: The Future of Plastic Recycling – Advanced technologies for closed-loop recycling (English available)
- Ministry of the Environment, Japan｜Statement by Japan
- Ministry of the Environment, Japan｜Results overview of The Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC 2) (Japanese)