Plastic pollution is now the world`s main international environmental problem, for which there is no UN treaty. But calls for such a treaty – from citizens to UN Member States and now to businesses – are growing louder. At the next UNA-5 meeting, Member States will have the opportunity to start negotiations on a treaty on plastic pollution. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a UK-based charity committed to a circular economy that addresses some of the greatest challenges of our time, such as waste, pollution and climate change. A circular economy creates waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use and regenerates natural systems, creating benefits for society, the environment and the economy. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation works closely with designers, businesses, educators and policy makers around the world to achieve this. For more information: www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org | @circulareconomy  UN Environment, Combating Marine Plastic Litter and Microplastics: An Assessment of the Effectiveness of Relevant International, Regional and Subregional Governance Strategies and Approaches (15 February 2018), UNEP/EA.3/INF/5, p. 105. To reverse this path, many world leaders in consumer goods and retail trade are calling on governments to negotiate a UN treaty on plastic pollution. It is not another coalition or a multistatic initiative; Rather, it is an opportunity for companies to have a voice in the decisive vote on a possible treaty at the fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNA-5) in February 2021. We need real solutions that try to contain the flow of cheap and unnecessary plastics and uncontrollable amounts of plastic waste.
These include capping new production, banning single-use plastic items and imposing sustainable packaging practices and other margin and delivery systems for their products. “Play it Out” is a festival against plastic pollution. The festival, organized by the government of Antigua and Barbuda and sponsored by the Norwegian government, will bring together musicians and artists from around the world with leading political leaders, innovators and guests to help use plastic at the “final bell”. At present, progress in reducing plastic pollution is limited by the lack of a common language, the lack of clear targets and plans, and the lack of an agreed methodology for assessing the baseline pollution rate and monitoring progress. In addition, the few provisions are narrow and framed by a patchwork of different agreements (such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution by Ships and the Basel Convention), creating a fragmented legal framework. While improving waste management is essential, exponential trends in plastic production do not allow us to get rid of this problem.