Question: Around how many countries agreed on UN accord to curb plastic waste disposal in oceans?
- On 10th May, 2019, around 180 governments agreed on a new UN accord to regulate the export of plastic waste.
- Around eight million tonnes of plastic wastes ends up in the ocean every year hitting hard on the aquatic life and health of environment.
- This new United Nations accord came after 12 days of discussions at a United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
- About 1,400 representatives from the world represented the UNEP meeting in Geneva.
- The Geneva meeting amended the 1989 Basel Convention on the control of hazardous wastes to include plastic waste in a legally-binding framework.
- U.S. and a few others have not signed the accord. They however cannot ship plastic waste to countries that are on board with the deal.
- The meeting also undertook to eradicate two poisonous chemical groups — Dicofol and Perfluorooctanoic Acid, plus related compounds.
- The latter has been used in a wide variety of industrial and domestic applications including non-stick cookware and food processing equipment, as well as carpets, paper and paints.
- Developed countries like the US and Canada have been exporting their mixed toxic plastic wastes to developing Asian countries claiming it would be recycled in the receiving country since long time.
- Much of this waste cannot be recycled and is instead dumped or burned, or finds its way into the ocean.
- Plastic waste pollution has reached epidemic proportions with an estimated 100 million tonnes of plastic now found in the oceans.