Nordic ministers call for a new global agreement against plastic pollution in the oceans

Press release from the Government of Iceland

The Nordic Council of Ministers for the Environment introduced possible approaches to a new global agreement to prevent plastic pollution at their meeting Monday, during which a new Nordic report on the matter was launched.

Following their Ministerial meeting in Reykjavik in April 2019, the Nordic Ministers issued a strong call for a new global agreement to reduce the environmental impact of plastic litter entering our oceans. The report is a follow up on that call and a contribution from the Nordic countries for an informative global discussion on a new agreement.

Mismanaged plastic waste ending up in the environment and oceans is a growing environmental challenge of global concerns. Large quantities of plastics are found in our oceans, air, soil and freshwater resources and pose a severe threat to the marine ecosystem.

The report suggests an approach to a new global agreement that aims to engage governments, industry and consumers in a joint effort to prevent plastics pollution. The report introduces national plastic’s management plans as a core commitment of governments in a possible agreement. Sustainability criteria for plastic products across the entire life-cycle is another feature in the report.

The Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, said that Iceland already has made a National plan on how to manage and prevent plastic pollution. He underlined that such plans are an important feature of a global agreement. “Plastic pollution does not respect borders. That is why this is an international task, like most other environmental challenges. Such issues need to be dealt with by global agreements and strong actions in each country. Our task now is to reach consensus on a new global agreement and the report is most helpful in outlining the elements of such an agreement. This is not a question of if or when, but how. We must not waste any time,” Guðbrandsson said.

Date of publication: 21 Oct 2020

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