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Critics are describing the Biden administration’s opening position in a United Nations effort to reach a global treaty or agreement to end plastic waste as vague and weak, despite its recognition of a need to end plastic pollution by 2040.
The proposal, for example, calls for individual national action plans as opposed to strong global mandates.
It does not seek enforceable cuts in plastics manufacturing, even though reducing plastic production was a key recommendation of the landmark 2021 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on the devastating impacts of plastic pollution.
The U.S. proposal touts the benefits of plastics and calls for improved management of plastic waste such as re-use, recycling and redesigning plastics, which are positions similar to recommendations from the chemical and plastics industries.