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UN set to clamp down on plastic waste 6th December

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Leaders around the globe are coming together to try to tackle plastic pollution and stop it from entering the oceans. Currently ministers are at an environmental summit in Kenya where the UN resolution is set to be sealed tomorrow. Although there is no timetable for the policies and they are not legally binding, leaders hope it will still send a clear message to companies around the world about reducing their plastic waste.

However, the US would not commit to any specific goals which in return meant the stronger motion was rejected and there were no internationally agreed goals.

The policy set to put an international task force in place which would offer advice and ideas are combating the pollution of the oceans. Environmental specialists are pleased with the proposals as they say it is a serious problem which needs to be tackled, however they feel ministers do not quite realise the urgency of the situation.

Controversy arose concerning whether or not businesses should be included within the taskforce as ministers claim they are needed to help solve the problem whereas environmentalists feel as though business leaders would restrict the reduction of plastic pollution as they have done for decades.

Norway’s environment minister, Vidar Helgesen, claims that due to the growing issue of marine litter, businesses will feel the pressure of this and will listen to the environmentalists as it has become a popular concern globally.

He also said they need to include the businesses which are set on changing their ideas and figure out ways which will make companies act in a more sustainable manner, as well as helping those who suffer from marine pollution.

Companies across Africa are resisting the plastic ban as they falsely claim it has resulted in many job losses; however there are jobs being created in alternative sectors, which is providing work for the rural poor.

On the other hand, there are many governments which are determined to be tough against the use of plastic and will work hard to reduce the waste. South Africa and Cameroon have declared a tax on thin plastic bags whilst many other countries across Africa have a near total ban on them.

Countries including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Mauretania have adopted bands due to the increased flood risk as well as cattle getting sick from eating the plastic.

The hope globally is that the reduction of plastic pollution will have a significant positive effect on sea creatures.

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