The big plastics treaty talks in Nairobi, Kenya, this month failed to meet hopes of advancing a global approach to sustainable plastics.
As PN's Steve Toloken wrote this week, some groups — including the Center for International Environmental Law — considered the meetings at United Nations headquarters in Nairobi a "relative failure" as environmental groups and members of the "high-ambition coalition" countries faced off against fossil fuel-producing nations that wanted to slow any big changes.
As a result, treaty negotiations likely won't be as advanced for the next series of talks, set for April in Ottawa, Ontario.
But there were some small advances in sustainability in Kenya.
Germany announced during the meeting that it has joined the Ocean Conservancy's Global Ghost Gear Initiative to focus on the biggest contributor to ocean plastics: abandoned fishing gear.
Fishing gear represents 86 percent of floating plastics by weight in ocean currents, according to the initiative, Beatriz Santos from our sister paper Sustainable Plastics writes. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that ghost gear is responsible for up to a 30 percent decline in some fish stocks.
Germany joins a group that includes the U.S., Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Norway and the United Kingdom. It has pledged to contribute 100,000 euros ($109,000) annually to support GGGI projects.