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Nations pledge to significantly reduce the use of single-use plastic at the United Nations Environment Assembly

Some countries including Saudi Arabia and Cuba, led by the US diluted the text of the resolution.

Pledging to address the issue of disastrous effects of single-use plastic on the environment, nations at the United Nations agreed on Friday to significantly reduce single-use plastic by 2030. Around 170 countries of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) signed an agreement to curb the usage of single-use plastic. The agreement which was steered by India, will seek to reduce the use of disposable plastic products like bags, cups, cutlery and drinking straws.

The move by the member countries was welcomed by the President of the UNEA Siim Kiisler. “It’s hard to find one solution for all member states,” said Siim Kiisler, UN assembly president. The environment is at a turning point. We don’t need verbose documents, we need concrete commitments,” said Kisler.

“We have decided to do things differently. From reducing our dependence on single-use plastics to placing sustainability at the heart of all future development, we will transform the way we live. We have the innovative solutions we need. Now we must adopt the policies that allow us to implement them”, Kisler added.

According to Global Environment Outlook report, periodic assessment of the health of our planet, released by the UN this week said that a quarter of all premature death and disease is caused by man-made pollution, environmental damage and a lack of access to clean sanitation.

The final Ministerial statement issued at the assembly said that the countries “address the damage to our ecosystems caused by the unsustainable use and disposal of plastic products, including by significantly reducing single-use plastic products by 2030.” Some countries including Saudi Arabia and Cuba, led by the US diluted the text of the resolution.

Several other measures were adopted during the five-day assembly which ended on Friday. A resolution on sustainable nitrogen management was also presented by Indian representatives.

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