Statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that in the past five years, more than 60 countries have imposed bans or taxes on single-use plastic products, and major economies such as China, the United States, and the European Union have even begun to upgrade the "plastic restriction order". "Plastic Ban".
"Will archaeologists dig thousands of years from now dig into the strata of our time and find it stuffed with immortal discards such as bottle caps, wrappers , straws and lighters - one choked to death by trash Civilization? ” Susan Fryenker, in her book, Plastic – A Toxic Love Story, offers a gloomy prediction.
Now, in order to avoid the word "" becoming a prophecy", countries all over the world stand together again.
— 1 —
The global plastic restriction cannot escape the tragedy of the commons?
Plastic pollution has sounded the alarm, and countries have invested in this "white war".
Statistics from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show that in the past five years, more than 60 countries have imposed bans or taxes on single-use plastic products , and major economies such as China, the United States, and the European Union have even begun to upgrade the "plastic restriction order" to "" Plastic ban".
The United Nations Environment Assembly has set up meetings to discuss and formulate detailed rules for many times to solve the problem of "white cancer" shared by the world. The adoption of the "Resolution on Ending Plastic Pollution (Draft)" by the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly at its resumed session is the most important progress made by multilateral environmental agreements since the signing of the Paris Agreement. Plastic Order" has been legally bound since then.
Liu Jianguo, a professor at the School of Environment, Tsinghua University, believes that this resolution reflects three consensuses: first, to set up an intergovernmental negotiating committee and put it into work this year; second, to focus on the full life cycle management of plastics, not just the end management, which means taking the reuse and recycling of plastic products into consideration at the design stage, and proposing diversified solutions to plastic pollution; third, strengthening international cooperation to promote technology improvement, capacity building and scientific and technological exchanges Cooperation.
However, Cui Ye, a lecturer at the School of International Affairs and Public Administration of Ocean University of China, believes that plastic pollution is a typical "tragedy of the commons" problem. Although many countries have made positive declarations and positions on this before, but behind these declarations , its true governance willingness needs to be further investigated. Especially when there is a conflict between international public interests and national private interests, their willingness to participate in global marine plastic waste management will be rapidly weakened. This can be seen from the refusal of the United States and Japan to sign the Ocean Plastics Charter with other G7 members. .
In addition, the differences in governance capacity and governance willingness of different countries make it difficult for all countries to simultaneously and simultaneously promote the governance of plastic waste. The unbalanced distribution of governance needs and governance resources further exacerbates this difficulty.
For example, scientific research shows that the pollution of plastic waste in Southeast Asian waters is extremely serious, and a considerable part of this plastic waste comes from the dumping of passing ships and the transboundary transfer of developed countries to the coastal countries in the waters. This requires coastal countries and developed countries outside the region to jointly assume governance responsibilities and mobilize various resources to concentrate in this region to solve the main contradiction in the problem of marine plastic waste.
However, Cui Ye pointed out that due to the political nature of global ocean governance, the expected expectations have not been transformed into actual measures: on the one hand, most of the coasts of this sea area are developing countries, and the available resources such as capital, equipment, technology, and human resources are It is very limited, and the coordination between economic development and environmental protection is very difficult, making it difficult to fully invest in the management of marine plastic waste; And out of consideration of their own interests, they pay more attention to the governance of their own or regional waters, and fail to provide substantive assistance to these countries with weak governance resources.
— 2 —
The actions of the brand
Can humans solve the troubles they create?
The answer given by the famous management scholar Peter Drucker in the book "Transforming Social Problems into Business Opportunities: The New Significance of Corporate Social Responsibility" is to transform social problems and social needs into profitable business opportunities. This may be the most optimistic estimate for humanity to solve the plastic crisis.
In fact, world-renowned international companies are indeed aware of their social responsibilities, and have stood on the front line of plastic restriction and plastic prohibition. For example, in the summer of 2018, Starbucks announced that all its global stores will phase out single-use plastic straws by 2020; Unilever by 2025 plastic packaging , and accelerate the use of recycled plastics; In 2021, Coca-Cola announced a bottle made from 100 percent plant-based plastic...
Major electronics brands are accelerating the use of recycled materials. Lenovo promises that by 2025, 100% of its computer products will contain recycled plastic, and the cumulative usage will reach 130,000 tons; HP plans to achieve 75% of the resource reuse rate in HP products and packaging by 2030, and use renewable plastics in product design. Recycled and recyclable materials; Dell plans to have every Dell product that customers buy contain reused or equivalent recycled materials, product packaging will be 100% recycled materials, and more than 50% of products will be Based on "recycled or recycled materials"; Samsung 's 2022 lineup will feature SolarCell remotes made from recycled materials that are also used in the brand's TVs and monitors...
Many car companies have also carried out the application of recycled plastics in the automotive industry. Biotech and Total Energy signed a strategic cooperation agreement in early April this year. The two parties will jointly design and develop new plastic materials made of recycled polypropylene; Renault 's newly launched Mégane E-TECH Electric vehicle interior, dashboard, middle Many components, such as consoles, headrests and carpets, are made from recycled materials; Faurecia and Veolia signed a collaborative research agreement to jointly develop innovative compounds for automotive interior modules, with the goal of, by 2025, On average 30% recycled content is used in automotive interior modules. Kia plans to increase its use of recycled plastic in finished vehicles to more than 20% by 2030...
The future holds for these companies many more propositions, but they must be leaders towards a plastic-free and climate-safe future because they have the capabilities, means and resources to make this vision a reality.