Brussels, 1 July 2022 (TDI): Jean-Marie Paugman, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) presented a letter to Ricardo Treviño, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

The letter was given on behalf of the six WTO plastics coordinators. The document calls for collaboration between the two entities to address plastic pollution.

Plastic Pollution: An Overview

Plastic is useful material. It is used in medicine for life-saving equipment, spacecraft, cars, and numerous other crucial things. However, plastic pollution is one of the main contributors to climate change.

It harms human and animal life. This type of pollution damages natural habitats endangers wildlife and pollutes communities around the world.

The production of disposable plastic products is superior to the capacity to dispose of them. In addition, plastic production requires the extraction of crude oil and gas, hence making it not very sustainable.

The problem is especially bad in countries with poor garbage collection systems. Nevertheless, in the case of developed countries, recycling efforts don’t seem to be enough.

It is estimated that 40% of plastic is not recycled. Additionally, the production of recycled plastics has a higher cost than producing new plastics.

A great portion of plastic products, like bags or food containers, have a short life span. For instance, they are used just for a short period of time and then thrown away.

In addition, plastics usually contain other additives used to make products stronger or more colorful.

These additives make the products more difficult to degrade and extend the plastics’ lifetime. This is the reason why plastic pollution is so serious.

WTO and WCO’s commitment

International trade contributes significantly to plastic pollution. It supports plastic production and supply chains. In addition, a great portion of traded goods includes plastic packages or parts.

The WTO and WCO have come together to address this international problem. They share a vital role in the trade-related aspects of battling plastic pollution.

Both organizations present unique spaces for member nations to work jointly to support international efforts. Reducing trade barriers for products that reduce plastic pollution is possible.

Further, it is necessary to boost coherence between international and domestic trade policies to address plastic pollution. Besides, countries need to work jointly to bear a more environmentally-friendly global economy.

Director Treviño shared his contentment with the letter through his official Twitter account. He expressed his satisfaction with the way in which both organizations are working to address plastic pollution.

To sum up, the fact that the WTO and WCO are working jointly to fight plastic pollution is great news for the planet. Both organizations have demonstrated their concern and commitment to resolving this pressing issue.