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The United States and Japan joined 18 other countries yesterday in backing the creation of a new international “framework” to curb ocean plastics after rejecting a stronger Canadian proposal on the same topic last year.
Nations agreed to the framework at the close of a two-day meeting of Group of 20 energy and environment ministers in Karuizawa, Japan. It includes a commitment by the G-20’s members to annually compile and disclose data on their own plastics production and disposal.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, who represented the United States at the weekend meeting with Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, told The Washington Post last week that marine plastics would be his personal focus for the meeting.
But where governments ranging from the European Union to Canada are taking steps to regulate single-use plastics, Wheeler saw no need for bans on products like plastic straws.