Plastic Pollution on the World’s Stage

200+ Countries Sign a UN Resolution to Stop Marine Plastic Pollution

The world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment, the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 4-6, where efforts to address global plastic pollution took a significant step forward: world governments agreed to establish a specialist group tasked with examining options to combat marine plastic pollution. The resolution, initiated by Norway, was signed by more than 200 countries.

In a significant development, the resolution establishes a process for ongoing coordinated international action, with the newly established Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group tasked with examining options for combating marine plastic pollution and microplastics from all sources, including through global legally binding mechanisms.

Read the press release from CIEL: UN Initiative Agrees to Spearhead Fight Against Marine Plastic Pollution

Members of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement, including Plastic Pollution Coalition, Zero Waste Europe, CIEL, Environmental Investigation Agency, ESDO, and BALIFOKUS, called for the resolution to include a binding global reduction target of plastics, caps on production and consumption, and requirements for loss prevention, collection, and recycling of all plastics.

While in Nairobi, Break Free From Plastic members created the UNEA3 Progress on Plastics Update. Download Issue 1Issue 2, and Issue 3 of the newsletter. 

Watch: Jane Patton of PPC speak with the BBC on plastic pollution at the UN Environment Summit in Nairobi, Kenya

Of the resolution, the chief of public advocacy at UNEP, Sam Barrat told Reuters: “While this is not a treaty, significant progress is being made… 39 governments announced new commitments to reduce the amount of plastic going into the sea.”

#BreakFreeFromPlastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, over 1,000 non-governmental organizations from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. Sign up at

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