End Plastic Pollution
© naturepl.com / Tui De Roy / WWF

End Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is deadly. It needs to be stopped!

Plastic pollution is everywhere, but nowhere more than in the ocean.

More than 11 million metric tons of plastic are flowing into the ocean each year. Once it is there, it’s almost impossible to remove. And it continues to break down. Macroplastics become microplastics, and microplastics become nanoplastics.  

It’s not good for people, or the planet. 

© naturepl.com / Tony Wu / WWF

For marine life, it is catastrophic 

It’s been estimated that 90% of all seabirds ingest plastic at some point in their lives. Starting as chicks.

More than half the world’s marine mammal species, including dolphins, whales and seals, have been found to have eaten plastic. As have all species of sea turtles.

Not all of them die, but all of them suffer from it.      

It’s not just the plastic they eat. Entanglement, smothering and slow poisoning from leached chemicals, all cause sickness, weakness, injury, and death. 

Plastic in the ocean is pervasive and increasing.

The time has come to end it. 

© Shutterstock /Lycia Walter /WWF

Plastic pollution is a global problem

It needs a global solution.

The ‘zero draft’ of the UN plastic pollution treaty was published by the UN Environment Programme on September 4th 2023. It sets the stage for the upcoming treaty negotiations in November. 

​​​​While the draft offers many effective solutions that can help put an end to the plastic crisis, it also includes a variety of weaker options. With this uncertainty in the treaty text, it means there are many challenges ahead in the negotiations to reach our goal for a planet free from plastic pollution.

The draft provides the foundation as the negotiations now turn from exploratory discussions to text negotiations. The draft is based on country inputs in the negotiations so far and reflects where countries currently stand and what they collectively agree and disagree on.

We need countries to dial up ambition and finalise a plastics treaty that is globally binding, with bans on high-risk, single use products, and requirements on product use that prioritises a full lifecycle approach and a just transition. Countries must resist settling for anything less.

Tell the New Zealand Government you want them to be bold and ambitious and commit to end plastic pollution by 2040.

In March 2022, UN Member States agreed on a mandate to negotiate a legally binding global treaty to end plastic pollution.

This year, the framework is being negotiated throughout a series of meetings across the globe, with the aim of having it in place by the end of 2024.

The draft treaty released in September is the first time countries have put to paper what the global plastics treaty should look like and comes at the midway point of negotiations – it lands ahead of the third round of talks out of a total of five.

Although in the minority, there are some powerful opponents of global rules and standards, potentially weakening obligations on countries to take action. 

The New Zealand Government needs to commit to helping deliver a truly ambitious treaty with effective global measures. 

Sign the petition to tell them that New Zealanders want a strong Treaty that will stop plastic pollution by 2040.

© naturepl.com / Enrique Lopez-Tapia / WWF

Global rules to solve a global crisis

Despite the exponential growth in voluntary initiatives and national regulations to tackle plastic pollution, there is no sign that leakage rates are slowing. In order to effectively deal with the plastic crisis, the world needs common rules and standards that address plastic throughout its entire lifecycle. 

What does an effective Global Plastics Treaty need to contain?  

Read WWF’s reports "Towards a Treaty to End Plastic Pollution: Global rules to solve a global problem" and "Putting an end to plastic pollution: WWF's call to urgently regulate high-risk plastic products."