Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and Ikea were among over 70 brands on Monday to issue a joint statement calling for a global treaty to fight plastic pollution that would include reducing production of the material.
Why it matters: The United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2) that begins next month will see government officials gather to begin talks next month on a treaty on plastic pollution - "a key growth area for the oil industry," per Reuters.
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It's not clear whether negotiations would see tougher action on the management of waste and recycling - which would "likely face resistance from big oil and chemical firms and major plastic-producing countries," including the U.S., Reuters notes.
What they're saying: "We are at a critical point in time to establish an ambitious UN treaty that fosters collaboration for systemic solutions and speeds up the transition to a circular economy globally," the brands argue in their statement.
"UNEA 5.2 is the decisive, most auspicious moment to turn the tide on the global plastic pollution crisis. We cannot afford to miss it."
By the numbers: A November study found the world had generated over 8 million tons of pandemic-related plastic waste, with more than 25,000 tons of plastic polluting the world's oceans since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
Go deeper... Study: Plastic pollution can be curbed