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World Economic Forum: Session on Plastic Pollution

These days, the WEF inย Davos 2023 provides a global stage for the most fundamental issues at stake in todayโ€™s world. Undoubtedly, one of these issues isย PlasticPollution. While plastics is in many forms a material of choice to enable CircularProductDesignย and lifecycles, it is a massive and unacceptable problem if it ends up in the environment.

As the participants of this yearโ€™s WEF’s session ๐˜Œ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜—๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ค ๐˜—๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ: ๐˜”๐˜ถ๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ญ ๐˜Š๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ด ๐˜‰๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ต pointed out, plastic pollution has intolerable impacts onย biodiversity, nature and its eco-systems. It is a problem to be fixed rather yesterday than tomorrow.

It is not particularly striking that all panelists agreed on this problem identification. What is striking and a major step forward: All panellists โ€“ from consumer packaging to finance, from NGO to developing country โ€“ agreed, that the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution must be ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด and ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฑ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ฒ ๐—ฐ๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜€ in depth.

Indeed, voluntary actions are important, but not enough to get it done. Not having a harmonized, global baseline, prohibits economies of scale in terms of manufacturing solutions that are good for people and for the planet. What helps each country for moving up the waste maturity areย binding commitmentsย to level the playing field. More than this, on the mission to end Plastic Pollution, theย whole life cycle of plasticsย must be carefully considered. From reusable plastics to improved recyclability (e.g. mono materials) or recycling technologies itself (e.g. betterย MechanicalRecycling andย ChemicalRecycling): There is not one single path for progress. Only a CircularEconomyย with closed loops, rigid life-cycle-assessments and green production processes will put a sustainable end to plastic pollution.

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