South Africa Plastic Proposal

The next meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) will take place in Nairobi, 22-26 February 2021. The fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly will connect and consolidate environmental actions within the context of sustainable development and give significant impetus to more effective implementation. This fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly in 2021 will mobilize, motivate and energize member States and stakeholders into sharing and implementing successful approaches and nature-based solutions that contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly the eradication of poverty and the promotion of sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

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Several countries are planning to submit a proposal for a UN resolution on a Global Plastic Waste working towards an International Environmental Treaty on Plastic Waste for the meeting of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) in Nairobi. Prepare a policy position paper on the subject of a Global Plastic Waste Treaty from the position of the country of your choice — South Africa
Please refer to the following issues as part of your work, whenever relevant in your specific country’s context:

A short introductory analysis of the global and local aspects of the issue at hand;

Current status of the issue in your country, for example, you may include some of the following:

Local context information

Current approaches/current gaps in approaches towards the topic of plastic waste

Relevant policy work or other which might be relevant

Synergies to other issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss et

Existing commitments as an individual country or as part of a group of countries (e.g. Caribbean countries or Small Island Communities)

Suggest one policy mechanism for moving forward on this issue and justify your suggestion (there are various suggestions for global policy on plastic, including your reading from CIEL, these may give you some directions, you can choose an existing approach for a mechanism or propose your own);

Implementation considerations: these may include one or more of the following issues that will need attention: knowledge transfer, technology transfer, capacity building, infrastructure needs, etc;

Suggest at least one compliance mechanism.

Please reference any work you rely on in END NOTES citing the name of the author/s or organization, title of the cited work, and the date it was published. If you are citing a website, please provide the name of the organization, name of the specific page, link to the page, and the date on which you entered it. Here you can find guidelines on referencing Link (how to reference a website, a government site, a policy report, academic papers, etc.)

Type of sources you can use (these are just examples to give you a direction), a source can be a policy document, an information source for data, another treaty, etc.

Government websites such as Ministry of Environment in your country

Specific initiatives in your country to ban plastic waste

United Nations Orgs (UNEP, UNIDO, UNDP, Regional Offices, UN-OHRLLS (rep org for least developed countries) etc.)

International Organizations (OECD, OSCE, etc.)

International NGOs (e.g. CIEL, IUCN, WRI, WWF etc.)

OECD data and policy materials on plastic

EU data on plastic waste and other issues at EUROSTAT

SDGs National Voluntary Reports available at the bottom of the page for each country

UN Statistics Department (UNSD): country/regional/SDG data

Local NGOs and civil society relevant to your country

International Environmental Agreements (IEA) Database Project can guide you on your country’s current commitments for example

Grading Criteria

Scope of research conducted (please reference at least 15 sources and a diversity of sources (government organizations, International organizations etc. See examples for types of sources below )

Understanding of the issue from a global perspective

Understanding of the approach from the standpoint of a particular country

Understanding of policy tradeoffs and complexities of the issue at hand

Structure and writing

Some recommended background to start with:

A user-friendly interactive information regarding the plastic waste problem and specific national legislation: According to UN environment: “While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences. Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away. Plastic waste is now so ubiquitous in the natural environment that scientists have even suggested it could serve as a geological indicator of the Anthropocene era.” Link.

An EU approach to dealing with plastic: The EU is currently moving towards regulation and legislation of plastic: “The first-ever European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy adopted on January 2018 will transform the way plastic products are designed, used, produced and recycled in the EU. Better design of plastic products, higher plastic waste recycling rates, more and better quality recyclates will help boosting the market for recycled plastics. It will deliver greater added value for a more competitive, resilient plastics industry. The strategy is part of Europe’s transition towards a circular economy, and will also contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals, the global climate commitments and the EU’s industrial policy objectives. This strategy will help protect our environment, reduce marine litter, greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on imported fossil fuels. It will support more sustainable and safer consumption and production patterns for plastics.” Link

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