(Daily News Scan - DNS English) Plastic Pollution : An Alarming Situation

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) Plastic Pollution : An Alarming Situation

Important Points:

Ministers of the G20 group agreed to adopt a framework to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste. This work would be done on the global scale. The two day meeting of G20 took place in Japan on 15 June. All the environment and energy ministers of G20 were present at this meeting. The G20’s 14th summit is going to take place in OSAKA, WESTERN JAPAN from 28 June to 29 June 2019.

The Group of 20 (G20) is a forum for international economic cooperation and decision making. It has a total of 19 member countries and the European Union. These countries are- Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, European Union, France, Germany, India , Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, The United Kingdom and the United States. The membership comprises of world’s largest developed and developing economies. G20 started in 1999 where a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors talked about the Asian Financial Crisis. The first G20 Leaders summit took place in 2008 that played an important role in fighting against global crisis. International organizations like Financial Stability Board, International Labour Organisation, The United Nations, World Trade Organization and many others also support G20 and provide policy advice. The G20 presidency changes annually and it doesn’t have a permanent secretariat. In order to have continuity of work, the presidency is supported by a “troika” that comprises of the current, the immediate past and the future host countries.

The G20 Environment and energy ministers discussed about various environment related issues. The main topic discussed was ocean plastic waste. Pollution in the ocean especially due to plastic waste is increasing at an alarming rate. Plastic threatens the marine life causing death of fishes, turtles and other sea creatures. Plastic bags, nets, bottles and other junk are eaten by sea animals which in return harm them by taking their lives.

Many countries have banned the use of plastic. The Japanese Prime Minister wants his country to lead the world in reducing plastic waste with developing biodegradables and other innovations. Japan has come up with a workable framework to tackle this plastic pollution problem. As per the framework the G20 member states have to promote a complete approach to reduce plastic waste discharge in the ocean and share the best measures with the other countries. Japan has planned to host a follow up meeting to review the efforts. The steps taken will be voluntary and progress will be reported annually. Moreover Japan is planning to host a meeting regarding the issue in November as well.

India one of the member countries of G20 has also taken steps and measures to fight against the issues of plastic waste pollution in the ocean. Indian Maritime Foundation in association with International Coastal Cleanup cleaned the coasts of India and was ranked 11th in the global list of 130 countries. Swachh India Campaign has also focused on marine pollution through various cleanliness drives along the coasts. Volunteers have cleared around 12 million kilograms of plastic from the beaches of Mumbai and still are looking forward to clean up the plastic mess around other coastal areas of the country.