NAIROBI (March 15, 2019) –The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) today approved resolution UNEP/EA.4/L.10, which, among other things, calls for strengthening coordination and cooperation of initiatives to eliminate discharges of marine litter and microplastics into the ocean.

 The World Plastics Council issued the following statement, through James Seward, vice president of joint ventures and international marketing at LyondellBasell, in his role as chairman of the World Plastics Council:

“Representatives of plastic producers from around the world participated in the Fourth Session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-4) where there were robust discussions about marine litter.

“Delegates should be congratulated for achieving positive outcomes which reinforce the importance of using science based approaches, encourage stakeholders to increase reliance on science, international cooperation, and multi-stakeholder engagement, and address the need for cooperation on innovation and environmentally sound waste management.

“Tackling Plastic Waste in the Environment requires advances in technology, and a change in our mindset, such that the used plastic becomes a feedstock or raw material for some other useful purpose.  Research continues to affirm that to effectively tackle marine litter our first priority must be to ensure the availability of effective waste management systems, particularly in emerging economies with large populations near rivers and coastlines where such systems are lacking.

“Many of our member companies have joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, launched in January. This new group is committing $1.5 billion over five years to end plastic waste and will focus on providing solutions to the largest sources of plastic in our ocean. Initially that work will be largely focused on countries where waste collection and management has not kept pace with growing populations and growing economies.

“The industry is committed to assisting in implementing the resolution, and believes these particular outcomes provide a foundation for well-informed policy debates going forward.”

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The World Plastics Council is a global forum for leading resin producing companies to accelerate cooperation and to deliver improved outcomes for the benefit of society. WPC is committed to contributing solutions to marine litter and other challenges. As an example, WPC supports the urgent need for integrated waste management as set forth in recent action plans and ministerial statements from APEC, the G-7 and the G-20. WPC also actively supports the work of the Trash Free Seas Alliance, and the associations in our value chains that are delivering Marine Litter Solutions.