The future of plastic pollution in the Pacific

Monday, 28 February 2022

The fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) will begin on Monday, February 28, however negotiations are already underway in the drafting of an international treaty to curb plastic pollution.

Image shows plastic bottles and other rubbish on a beach

Issues being discussed include the inclusion of a ‘full lifecycle approach’ to plastic pollution, which would hold plastic manufacturers and producers accountable.

This is a particularly important point for Pacific Island nations which contribute as little as 1.3% to global plastics pollution, yet are on the frontline of the plastic crisis and are disproportionately impacted.

Dr Sascha Fuller is the University of Newcastle’s Pacific Node Coordinator and was one of the 15 researchers involved in the development of a Scientists’ Declaration on the Governance of Plastics. She also co-authored the UN’s factsheets on Marine Litter, Plastic Pollution and Human Rights.

Dr Fuller is uniquely placed to speak to the challenges in the Pacific, the current negotiations and how important they are for the future of plastic pollution prevention in Australia and the Pacific.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.