May 27th, 2024

Plastic treaty talks in Ottawa get underway with pleas for high ambition, flexibility

By The Canadian Press on April 23, 2024.

Activist Dianne Peterson places a sign on a public art installation outside a United Nations conference on plastics, Tuesday, April 23, 2024 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA – The Ecuadorean diplomat tasked with shepherding the fourth round of talks for a global plastic treaty in Ottawa this week says the world cannot wait much longer for governments to get it right.

Luis Vayas Valdivieso was tapped last fall to be the lead negotiator for the treaty negotiations which got underway in Ottawa this morning.

It is the fourth of five planned rounds aimed at having an agreement by the end of this year to chart a course towards ending plastic waste by 2040.

Valdivieso says the Ottawa talks are a “crucial moment” in the process while acknowledging it is not an easy task.

There is widespread support for the idea of ending plastic waste but far less agreement on how to do it.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the consensus has to be a commitment to ending the “disposable consumer culture” that results in so much waste.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2024.

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