South Africa Could Waste Opportunity to Take Further Action On Plastic Pollution

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Plastic pollution is hazardous to land and the oceans, but a draft policy document reveals that the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment is not in favour of new multilateral environmental agreement on plastic pollution.

A leaked draft policy document reveals that the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment does not support the establishment of a new multilateral environmental agreement on plastic pollution.

Last week, a leaked document, marked confidential, from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) acknowledged the plastic pollution problem, but stops short of joining any further proposed global treaties to deal with this.

The draft paper highlights the DFFE's position at the Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution that will take place in September.

"At this stage NO decision whatsoever has been taken by the Department on any new international agreement that arises from UNEA [United Nations Environment Assembly] with regard to plastic waste. Leaked draft documents do not represent decisions of the organisation," the DFFE's chief director of communications, Albi Modise, told Daily Maverick via email.

Although the DFFE is proposing rejecting an additional treaty, it acknowledged in the draft document that South Africa...

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