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INC-4: Africa shouldn’t become dumping ground for plastics – Orekha

The Executive Director of Connected Advocacy, Prince Israel Orekha, has warned developed countries of the world to desist from turning Africa into a dumping ground for disposed plastics.

Prince Israel Orekha (middle) and colleagues at INC-4

Orekha disclosed this in a statement made available to EnviroNews on the outcome of the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-4), which concluded on April 29, 2024, in Ottawa, Canada.

Orekha said that African civil society organisations (CSOs) were united in demanding for a strong plastic treaty that would bring an end to global plastic pollution.

“As CSOs, we demand that a strong plastic treaty is developed from this meeting and Africa should no longer become a dumping site for plastics to curb plastic pollution.

“We also demand that African children should not be fed with plastics,” Orekha said.

He noted that the meeting deliberated on the entire life cycle of plastics and its pollution.

He added that the draft focused on fishing jar, extended producer responsibility implementation measures which include national plans and how to address chemical plastic polymers.

“It also deliberated on financing mechanism and resource mobilisation.”

He warned that African countries should be weary of technological importation which have plastic pollution hidden in them.

“Generally, we demand a strong global treaty that is different from the Paris Agreement,” Orekha said.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), more than 2,500 delegates participated at INC-4, representing 170 Members and over 480 Observer organisations including non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, and UN entities.

INC-4 marked the Committee’s largest and most inclusive gathering to date, with Observer participation increasing by almost 50 per cent.

Over the course of INC-4, delegates worked on negotiating the Revised Draft Text of the international legally binding instrument.

Delegates discussed, among other things: emissions and releases; production; product design; waste management; problematic and avoidable plastics; financing, and a just transition.

INC Members also agreed on intersessional work – expert meetings that took place between the official INC sessions – that is expected to catalyse convergence on key issues.

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