The Unep-organized conference in Geneva was attended in September by more than 1,000 representatives from 140 countries and non-governmental organizations. In a draft international agreement presented by Peru and Rwanda, particular reference is made to the danger posed by microplastics. The goal must be a "circular economy" that prevents large amounts of plastic waste. The proposed resolution is to be considered by delegates at the UN Conference on the Environment in Nairobi next year. According to Flasbarth, 25 countries already fully support the project, and 50 others announced their preliminary support at the conference in Geneva.
Long negotiations expected.
According to the State Secretary, however, long negotiations are to be expected. He expects it to take months or even years before an international agreement on reducing plastic waste can come into force. Berangere Abba, the French secretary of state in charge of biodiversity, warned that without joint international action, there would be "more plastic than fish in the world's oceans" by 2050. According to Unep, some 300 million tons of plastic waste are produced annually. About 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s. About 60 percent of the waste has been disposed of in landfills or in nature. Every year, more than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals die as a result of plastic pollution.