In a poll released yesterday, three in every four people worldwide want single-use plastics to be banned immediately.
This comes as a global treaty to curb plastic pollution is slated to begin talks among United Nations (UN) members soon.
Over 20,000 people in 28 countries participated in an IPSOS survey, which found that the percentage of people calling for plastic bag bans rose from 71% to 82% since 2019.
It is deemed as the most important environmental pact since the Paris Agreement on climate change, and activists are calling on government representatives meeting this month in Nairobi, Kenya, to press ahead with an ambitious plastic waste treaty.
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International Director-General, Marco Lambertini, said: “People worldwide have made their views clear,” adding that “The onus and opportunity is now on governments to adopt a global plastics treaty… so we can eliminate plastic pollution.”
There was strong support for a treaty among those surveyed, but it remains uncertain whether the treaty would focus on waste collection and recycling or take more radical steps aimed at reducing plastic consumption.
People worldwide have made their views clear. The onus and opportunity is now on governments to adopt a global plastics treaty… so we can eliminate plastic pollution.
However, Reuters in a report last week revealed that big oil and chemical companies are developing strategies to persuade conference participants to reject any agreement that could restrict plastic production, which is created from oil and gas and one of their key revenue streams.
According to a WWF study released this month, if the UN is unable to strike a deal to stop plastic pollution, some marine species will face extinction and sensitive ecosystems such as coral reefs and mangroves will be destroyed.
Any treaty will likely take at least two years to finalize. Nairobi will determine key elements of any agreement, however, after the February 28 to March 2 conferences.
Poll results show that Colombia, Mexico and India are the countries that support single-use plastic bans the most, developing countries teetering on the brink of a waste crisis.
In addition, 85% of global respondents believe that manufacturers and retailers should be held accountable for reducing, reusing, and recycling packaging, up from 80% before.