The ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to adopt a joint declaration to combat marine plastic waste.
According to statistics from the UN Environment Programme and Ocean Conservancy, an American campaign group for the protection of the oceans, plastic pollution is a major problem across Southeast Asia, so much so that four members of ASEAN (Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand) are among the five nations that throw the most plastic waste – collectively, sixty percent of the total amount – into the ocean.
"This declaration will be a new milestone, but it will be just words on paper if there is no change in policies,” said Tara Buakamsri, the director of Greenpeace Thailand. He added that ASEAN countries must ban single-use plastics urgently for the declaration to be truly effective.
Although the agreement doesn’t feature any specific numbers, by signing the declaration ASEAN member states will commit to reducing the use of single-use plastics and to the recycling of plastic products and packaging.
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