UN promotes commitment with countries and companies to drive down plastics pollution by 2025
28 noviembre 2019


Plastics. On October 30, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation updated the 2018 global commitment between companies and countries to reduce the use of plastics in the economy. The document promotes a circular economy of plastics and calls on states to reduce the use of virgin plastics, introduce pilot reuse projects and encourage the use of recycled plastics in packaging. Based on this document, the UN and member countries are expected to step up their advocacy on this issue by promoting financing programs for industries that reduce the use of plastics. The objective is for the commitment to be made by more companies and countries throughout 2020.

This agreement reaches more than 400 organizations committed to the elimination of polluting and unnecessary plastic packaging, and proposes innovations to make all plastic packaging 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable.

The paper examines how nearly 200 companies and governments are changing their production and use of plastics and the progress made in that regard. To this end, the UN calls for a reduction in the use of virgin plastic and increased reuse of plastics. Experts estimate that, at present, approximately 60% of the plastic packaging used by the companies that have joined the commitment are reusable, recyclable or compostable.

In effect, stores and businesses that have agreed to the commitment have pledged to quintuple their use of recycled plastic in packaging, from the current 4% to 22% by 2025. 

Next steps

The UN proposes to incorporate actions for eliminating plastic packaging and push for countries and companies to join the Global Commitment to reduce plastics waste and quintuple the use of recycled plastic in packaging by 2025. In the coming months, the UN is expected to strengthen its advocacy agenda to increase the number of companies that subscribe to the agreement. It is estimated that the UN, together with its member countries, will promote programs to finance industries and companies that use recycled plastics or eliminate them from their production.