Somali Magazine – Over 13 global activists, athletes and actors from have appeared in a video calling to end the age of plastic. The 90-second video from Greenpeace International aims to set the tone as the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations (INC3) resume at the United Nations Environment Programme headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
According to Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, an activist and Indigenous leader “End the age of plastic. Let us protect Indigenous Peoples. Our land in Africa is not a dumping ground.”
Hindou’s sentiments were echoed by Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, ethologist and conservationist, “We need to end the age of plastic because it’s killing wildlife and because we can’t recycle our way out of the plastic crisis. We need to reduce plastic production.”
On Monday, the first day of the talks in Nairobi, Kenya’s President William Ruto observed that the world was running out of time to reach a global plastics deal before the end of 2023, a deadline set in March 2022. “I urge all the negotiators to recall that 2024 is only six weeks away with only two other meetings to go,” Ruto said.
Global leaders have made slow progress at previous summits. Nations such as Kenya have pushed for a robust and more binding agreement. In contrast, the powerful plastics industry and petrochemical suppliers, including Saudi Arabia, have advocated a more limited approach.
“The vast majority of countries are eager to advance the negotiations to get the job done,” said Pamela Miller, co-chairperson of the International Pollutants Elimination Network, a global public interest group.
“On the other hand, a small group of like-minded countries of mainly major fossil fuel, petrochemical and plastic exporters like Saudi Arabia and Russia are actively attempting to take us backwards,” she said.
Nemonte Nenquimo, Waorani leader and winner of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize said: “End the age of plastic. It contaminates our territory, it pollutes our rivers and our lands.”
Emmy Award-winning actor Lee Jung-Jae, known for his acclaimed role in the hit series Squid Game, also added his voice to the campaign and said: “Our planet doesn’t have a ‘replay’ button like we do in a game. A solid and strong Global Plastics Treaty is the only way to end the age of plastic.”
Other notable names include Celina Jaitly, William Shatner, and Janet Hsieh, who have joined Greenpeace’s campaign to pressure world leaders to agree on a strong Global Plastics Treaty that tackles the plastic pollution crisis at the source.
As a product of fossil fuels and toxic additives, plastic production – and its incineration – releases harmful toxins into the environment which contribute to rising temperatures globally, thus exacerbating the negative impacts of the climate crisis.
Hellen Kahaso Dena, Project Lead- Pan African Plastic Project for Greenpeace Africa,“with African cities and coastlines drowning in waste, African leaders don’t have to look very far to understand that only a legally binding global plastics treaty that will end plastic pollution through a phase-out of plastic production will solve the plastic pollution crisis. Negotiations on this treaty are an opportunity to stop big polluters, slash plastic production and to protect the human rights of Africans and our planet.”
The delegates, including ministers from governments all over the world, are expected to secure a legally binding Treaty. The UN has set a goal for the treaty to be negotiated by the end of 2024.