Carroll Muffett, one of the authors, said: “It has long been clear that plastic threatens the global environment and endangers human health. This report shows that plastic, like the rest of the fossil economy, also threatens the climate. Britain, which leaves the EU at the end of the year, is considering one of two options: support growing calls for a new global treaty or strengthen existing agreements on reducing plastic waste. A decision by Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith is expected to be imminent. So far, the United States has opposed an international agreement on plastic waste. If there are geologists in millions of years, they will easily be able to determine the beginning of the so-called Anthropocene, the geological era in which man became the dominant influence on the planet`s environment. Wherever they look, they will find clear evidence of their beginning in the form of plastic waste. In the meantime, the United Kingdom has decided to support a new global treaty. Pacific and Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith said: “We now have an opportunity to create an inexorable dynamic to combat plastic pollution, as did the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol on Ozone Depletion. I hope that many, many other nations will join us.
The Paris Agreement establishes a global framework to prevent dangerous climate change, limiting global warming to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and making efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also aims to strengthen countries` capacity to cope with the effects of climate change and to assist them in their efforts. “After extracting fossil fuels for plastic production, the carbon footprint of a world-wide material continues through the refining process and beyond its useful life as a beverage bottle or plastic bag, by the way it is disposed of and by the plastic post-life,” the report says. UK Pacific and Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith has revealed that the UK is ready to discuss a new global plastics pollution treaty, backed by more than two-thirds of UN member states.