Global South campaigners march in Kenya amid calls to phase out plastics
NAIROBI, Nov 12 (NNN-XINHUA) — Hundreds of green campaigners drawn from the Global South marched through the streets in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Saturday, calling for a binding treaty to accelerate the phasing out of plastic production and use.
The march, which was organized by the “BreakFreeFromPlastic movement,” took place ahead of the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to develop a legally binding instrument to eradicate plastic pollution, which will be held in Nairobi on Nov 13-19.
During the meeting, delegates will negotiate the draft text which could lead to the endorsement of a global treaty aimed at bolstering efforts to eliminate plastic litter choking marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Niven Reddy, Africa regional coordinator for the “BreakFreeFromPlastic movement,” said the international community should move with speed and come up with legal and policy instruments aimed at strengthening action against the plastic waste menace.
“As communities in the Global South, we feel there is an urgency to break free from plastics, and during the Nairobi meeting, we expect leaders to negotiate for a treaty that supports the transition to a plastic-free world,” Reddy said.
Reddy observed that unregulated plastic production has exacerbated water pollution and biodiversity loss, and derailed efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
He stressed that a legally binding global treaty, combined with increased public awareness and the adoption of technology and innovation, is key to promoting the recycling of single-use plastics and creating a vibrant circular economy in developing countries.
Eliminating plastic pollution will align with efforts to boost environmental justice, human health, and ecosystem resilience in the least developed countries where the crisis is more acute, said John Chweya, president of the Waste Pickers Association of Kenya.
Chweya urged consensus during the Nairobi meeting to ensure that key concerns of the least developed countries, which are grappling with a growing plastic waste crisis, are addressed.
According to Chweya, an inclusive and fair global legal instrument is required to support a gradual phase-out of single-use plastics and provide alternatives that are biodegradable.
The envisaged global treaty should drastically limit the production and haphazard disposal of plastics, which has created a pollution crisis in biodiversity hotspots, said Daniela Duran, the senior legal campaigner at the Center for International Environmental Law.
Duran also said the treaty should be aligned with the Paris climate deal to secure a healthier, greener, and more resilient future for communities in the Global South.