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Three in four people want single-use plastics banned, global survey finds

Three in four people around the world want single-use plastics banned as soon as possible, according to a poll released on Tuesday, as members of the United Nations prepare to start talks on a global treaty to curb the skyrocketing plastic pollution.

The percentage of people asking for bans has risen from 71% since 2019, while those who said they prefer products with less plastic packaging rose from 75% to 82%, according to the IPSOS poll of more than 20,000 people in 28 countries.

Campaigners say the results send a clear message to governments meeting in Nairobi this month to push forward an ambitious treaty to tackle plastic waste, a deal billed as the most important environmental pact since the Paris Agreement on the climate change in 2015.

“People around the world have made their views clear,” said Marco Lambertini, chief executive of WWF International. “It is now up to governments to adopt a global plastics treaty…so that we can eliminate plastic pollution.”

Nearly 90% of respondents said they support a treaty, but it remains to be seen whether such an agreement will focus on waste collection and recycling or take more radical measures such as reducing production and use. disposable plastics.

Reuters revealed last week that major groups in the oil and chemical industry were strategizing to persuade conference attendees to reject any deal that would limit the production of plastic, made from oil and gas and a key source of their income.

If the United Nations fails to agree on a deal to curb plastic pollution, there will be widespread ecological damage over the next few decades, putting some marine species at risk of extinction and destroying sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves, according to a WWF study published this month.

It will probably take at least two years to finalize a treaty. But whatever is agreed at the Nairobi conference from February 28 to March 2 will determine the key elements of any deal.

The biggest support for single-use plastic bans in the poll came from Colombia, Mexico and India, developing countries in the throes of a waste crisis.

The IPSOS poll also showed that 85% of respondents globally want manufacturers and retailers to be held responsible for reducing, reusing and recycling plastic packaging, up from 80% previously.

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