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United Nations advises countries to take measures against plastic

 Amsterdam, June 5, 2018 –– Up to now, there have been no international agreements that compel countries to reduce their use of plastic. The most environmentally problematic form of plastic is single-use plastic (SUP). Despite the lack of an internationally binding agreement, countries have taken measures against SUPs themselves; they recognize the seriousness of the plastic pollution problem, and the issue has likely become intolerable for their citizens.

 Today, on World Environment Day, UN Environment has published an extensive review with an oversight of the measures that 50 nations have implemented up to now. Some of these measures are not effective because governments do not follow up on them.

The report, entitled Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap, gives a summary of the ten most effective steps countries can take. The UN recommends the following measures to governments around the world:

  1. Target the most problematic single-use plastics
  2. Consider the best actions to tackle the problem
  3. Assess the potential social, economic, and environmental impacts
  4. Identify and engage key stakeholder groups
  5. Raise public awareness
  6. Promote alternatives
  7. Provide incentives to industry
  8. Use revenues collected from taxes on single-use plastics to maximize the public good
  9. Enforce chosen measures effectively
  10. Monitor and adjust chosen measures if necessary and update the public on progress