NES invited to join technical group on problematic plastic products and chemicals of concern

The meeting addressed concerns about problematic and avoidable plastic products and hazardous chemicals, highlighting the urgent need for global cooperation. Participants discussed strategies to reduce plastic pollution and manage harmful chemicals responsibly. 
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In a concerted effort to tackle the global issue of plastic pollution, Tekura Moeka’a from the National Environment Service recently attended the Informal Technical Expert Group Meeting on Problematic and Avoidable Plastic Products and Chemicals of Concern held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The meeting addressed concerns about problematic and avoidable plastic products and hazardous chemicals, highlighting the urgent need for global cooperation. Participants discussed strategies to reduce plastic pollution and manage harmful chemicals responsibly. 

Despite its informal nature, the meeting served as a crucial stepping-stone towards INC-4. Furthermore, given its ambitious timeline for the Legal Instrument – members have only 80 hours of negotiations. Therefore, this meeting allowed for participants to engage in robust exchanges, sharing insights and best practices to tackle the multifaceted challenges posed by plastic pollution and concerning chemicals and provided some solutions of how we can make best of the limited time for negotiations!

Moeka’a highlighted, “despite not being an expert in chemicals, I acknowledge the importance of a policy-driven approach in addressing plastic pollution. From a policy standpoint, there is a need for proactive measures domestically to confront this pressing issue head-on”. Moeka’a further raised “as users of plastic products, and not knowing what chemicals are in them, how do we effectively shift consumer behavior away from single-use plastics towards more sustainable alternatives.” This underscored the significance of policy frameworks in driving behavioral change and fostering a more environmentally conscious society.

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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