International companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo called for a global deal to address plastic pollution on Monday, including a reduction in plastic manufacture, a significant growth area for the oil sector.
Later this year, world leaders will convene at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) to begin negotiations on a treaty to address the plastic trash catastrophe that is strangling landfills, despoiling oceans, and killing wildlife.
It is unclear whether any agreement will focus on waste management and recycling or take tougher measures such as limiting new plastic production, which would almost certainly face opposition from major oil and chemical companies as well as major plastic-producing countries such as the United States.
Consumer goods giants like Unilever and Nestle, which offer a wide range of single-use plastic products from shampoo to chocolate bars, are among the more than 70 signatories to Monday’s joint statement, as are retailer Walmart and French bank BNP Paribas.
“We are at a critical point in time to establish an ambitious U.N. treaty,” the statement said, noting that any deal should “reduce virgin plastic production and use.”
“UNEA 5.2 is the decisive, most auspicious moment to turn the tide on the global plastic pollution crisis. We cannot afford to miss it,” the statement said.