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US dragging feet on binding treaty to curb global plastics use

The conclusion of the second session in the international effort to arrive at a global plastics treaty offered some grounds for guarded optimism — and provided some disappointments. In a major step forward, the five-day May-June session in Paris of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) ended with an agreement to write a “zero draft,” a first version of an enforceable accord on the global plastics pollution crisis, with that landmark document to be ready for review and discussion at the next meeting, slated for Nov. 13-17 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Of 169 states sending delegates to Paris, 135 agreed that binding international law regulating plastics is needed — but it will take future sessions to write those laws and come up with enforcement mechanisms and develop resources.

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