Rwanda is advocating a “global multilateral fund” that will finance efforts by countries to end plastic pollution by 2040, The New Times, Rwanda’s leading daily newspaper, reported on Sunday.
The proposed fund is part of a global treaty initiated by Rwanda, and later supported by Peru before it was passed as a resolution at the United Nations Environment Assembly held in Nairobi, in March.
The process to draft and negotiate the treaty will take two years.
The aim is to eliminate plastic waste upstream during production and downstream during waste management.
On Dec. 8, on the sidelines of the World Circular Economy forum in Kigali, Rwanda and Norway are holding a “High Ambition Coalition to end plastic pollution” event to share information about the way forward to end plastic pollution by 2040.
Rwanda banned plastic bags in 2008 and single-use plastics in 2019.
Rwanda and Norway are co-chairs of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution which was launched in August, 2022.
Over 50 countries have so far joined the coalition.
Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) Juliet Kabera, who is also Rwanda’s representative on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, said that the proposed treaty could stop the fragmented approach on the management of plastics.
“We all have national laws, regulations [and] actions around the circular economy on the management of waste, but we still have leakage and scientific publications that show us that in the near future we are going to have more plastics in the ocean than the fish we have there,” Kabera said. “That is why we took an initiative to have a treaty that stops fragmented approaches on the management of plastic.”
The director general added that preventing further leakage in the environment needs a lifecycle approach.
Plastic consumption is projected to skyrocket in the coming decades, from 460 million tons in 2019 to 1,231 million tons in 2060.
The most significant sectors driving consumption are packaging, vehicles and construction, which will make up two-thirds of all use.
More than 140 million tons of plastic waste has already accumulated in rivers, lakes and oceans over the last 70 years