The recent G7 summit of major democracies said the bloc is open to a global plastics pollution treaty, giving a boost to talks expected to kick off in earnest next year.
In an official communique as their June 11-13 summit ended, G7 leaders including President Joe Biden signaled support for an agreement on plastics pollution that the United Nations plans to start negotiating in early 2022.
Their announcement comes after pressure on G7 bloc, including a late May letter from Nestle, Aldi and others consumer companies and retailers urging it to support a treaty, as well as a June 9 letter from nearly 50 Democrats in Congress asking Biden to formally back a binding global plastics agreement.
In the official June 13 communique of the summit, the G7 governments said they backed steps to better address plastics in the environment.
"This includes stepping up action to tackle increasing levels of plastic pollution in the ocean, including working through the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) on options including strengthening existing instruments and a potential new agreement or other instrument to address marine plastic litter, including at UNEA-5.2," they said, referring to the February 2022 UNEA gathering.
The plastics statement made up only one paragraph in a lengthy 14,000-word G7 communique, but the fact that all seven nations signed represents a change from the 2018 G7 meeting, when five of them backed a "plastics charter" but the United States and Japan said no.
The other G7 nations are Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.