Workers sort out plastic bottles at a "Little Blue House" in Jiaojiang district of Taizhou city, East China's Zhejiang province, Oct 17, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
GENEVA - China's measures to tackle plastic pollution can set a standard and a model for other nations, which may contribute to helping reach a United Nations global plastic pollution treaty, a World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) official has said.
The third session of the UN's Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to develop a globally binding treaty on plastic pollution will run from Nov 13 to Nov 19 in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi.
"China is a very important country and actor in these negotiations," Eirik Lindebjerg, global plastics policy manager at the WWF, told Xinhua in a recent virtual interview from Nairobi.
Lindebjerg noted that China has put in place many domestic policies to cut plastic production and use, develop alternatives, and reduce plastic waste, which is significant to curb white pollution and protect the environment.
In October, China's program to process marine plastic waste, based on the collaboration of more than 6,000 individuals and over 200 enterprises from the eastern province of Zhejiang, won the 2023 Champions of the Earth Award for its innovative efforts on marine pollution reduction
In October, China's program to process marine plastic waste, based on the collaboration of more than 6,000 individuals and over 200 enterprises from the eastern province of Zhejiang, won the 2023 Champions of the Earth Award, the UN's most prestigious environmental recognition, for its innovative efforts on marine pollution reduction.
"The Chinese approach of the full value chain to plastic pollution is something that will be very valuable and very needed in these negotiations," he said.
Lindebjerg said the treaty negotiations will bring an important opportunity for gathering the rest of the world behind the same policies. He extended hope to see "a great majority of countries aligning around some very concrete, targeted, binding and common global measures" to end plastic pollution.
According to the WWF, the treaty is expected to include those contents such as banning, phasing out or phasing down high-risk and avoidable plastic products, polymers and chemicals of concern.
It also calls for global requirements for product design and systems that can secure a safe and non-toxic circular economy, which prioritizes reuse and improvements in recycling.
"I think that China can play a constructive role in all of these measures," Lindebjerg said.
Considering that plastic use and pollution have a crucial impact on climate change, Lindebjerg believed that it is expected to be a popular topic during the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change scheduled to be held in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates from Nov 30 to Dec 12.
The treaty negotiations will have important spillovers on the COPs, he added.
Based in Gland, Switzerland, the WWF is an independent conservation organization with a global network active in over 100 countries and regions.
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