6 Dec 2017

Plastic pollution priority for Pacific at UN meeting

1:25 pm on 6 December 2017

The head of the UN Environment's Pacific Office says protecting the oceans from plastic pollution is a high priority at a global meeting in Kenya.

The uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific

The uninhabited Henderson Island in the South Pacific Photo: Jennifer Lavers

Norway has proposed a zero tolerance of plastic pollution and suggested a legal treaty banning plastic waste from entering the sea at the UN Environment Ministers' meeting.

The United Nations said unless new action was taken there would be more plastic than fish in the Earth's oceans by 2050.

Sefanaia Nawadra said Pacific countries support Norway's resolution and many had their own national laws already addressing plastic pollution.

"That's something that's already being addressed by actions in Pacific Island countries. Many have banned plastic bags or single use plastic. In a lot of way Pacific Island countries have voted with their feet and started doing it even before the resolution has been put forward."

Mr Nawadra said more resources needed to be invested in recycling and better waste management of plastic.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs