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Solutions from the One Planet Network to Curb Plastic Pollution

  • Published on May 31, 2023

High-Level event organized in collaboration with the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment in the margins of the INC2

In support of the second round of negotiations taking place in Paris this week to create a legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution, the One Planet Network and the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative joined forces with the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment team, co-led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), to organise a joint event: ‘Solutions from the One Planet Network to Curb Plastic Pollution’.

The high-level event, which was attended by over 80 participants, provided a space to advocate for impactful solutions to solve the plastics crisis, as well as acknowledge commitments taken by governments and businesses to support global efforts towards the implementation of circular economy of plastics.

Sheila Aggarwal-Khan, Director of the Industry and Economy Division, UNEP, introduced the key recommendations of the latest UNEP spotlight report ‘Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy’which proposes a systems change to address the causes of plastic pollution, combining reducing problematic and unnecessary plastic use with a market transformation towards circularity in plastics. Jorge Laguna-Celis, Head of the 10YFP Secretariat, presented the compendium of solutions proposed by the One Planet Network to support governments and businesses to implement ambitious commitments on circular economy of plastics.

The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Georgina Grenon, Director of Environmental Excellence for the 2024 Paris Olympic & Paralympic Games. Ms. Grenon discussed the importance of rethinking the organization of the Games to integrate a more circular general approach, illustrating with the specifics to plastics use, and explained what this means in the context of the world’s biggest sporting event with half a million attendees expected along the Seine for the Olympics opening ceremony alone.

The event also included a high-level round table on the topic “Joining forces through the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment (NPEGC) and the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative (GTPI) to implement circular economy of plastics”, made up of two panel discussions which brought together speakers from both public and private sectors. Ms. Cecilia Nicolini, State Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Innovation for Argentina, and Mr. Petros Varelidis, Secretary-General for Natural Environment and Water, Ministry of Environment and Energy for Greece discussed governmental actions taken in their respective countries to transition towards a circular economy of plastics. Ms. Nicolini emphasised the importance of maintaining a human rights-based approach during the transition to ensure access to justice for all those working to advance environmental action. Mr. Varelidis discussed targets set by Greece to reduce single-use plastics in line with EU regulation, and the economic instruments implemented to drive the necessary change in consumption patterns.

The event was also an opportunity to showcase progress of implementation of the private sector, represented by Ms. Brune Poirson, Chief Sustainability Officer at ACCOR, and Mr. Bertrand Swiderski, Chief Sustainability Officer, Carrefour. Ms. Poirson recounted the progress that ACCOR has made in reducing single-use plastics in operations, and highlighted to need for greater regulation to push the private sector to find innovative circular plastics solutions and move towards reuse models; Mr. Swiderski complemented this discussion by showcasing a few of the solutions that Carrefour has already implemented for textile products, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Executive Director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Ms. Zoritsa Urosevic, outlined the recent progress made by the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative, which just released its 2022 annual progress report. The report showcases the progress made by GTPI signatories in the implementation of their commitments on the elimination of unnecessary and/or problematic plastics and moving towards reuse models, and highlights areas in which to focus future efforts. The GTPI continues to create momentum among tourism stakeholders to work towards a common vision of circular plastics economy, shown by the addition of 22 new signatories who were officially announced during the event.

The new signatories joining the GTPI are:

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