Director of the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre, Maria Andrzejewska, took part in a discussion, that was organised in the European Commission office in Warsaw on February 28th.

During the event moderated by Maciej Cygler from the SGH University she presented UN system-led actions promoting sustainable production and consumption of plastics.

A Global Challenge

She emphasised the fact that actions directed towards limiting environmental pollution from plastic waste are not limited to the EU – they are also pursued in other regions of the world, as well as being widely discussed during global events such as the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA).

Such pollution is a truly global problem that was mentioned eg. in the United Nations Environment (UNEP) report ‘Towards a Pollution-Free Planet’. It is particularly detrimental to the quality of life of 2 billion people that currently do not have access to proper waste management systems and the possibility to limit their damage to the environment remain limited.

Andrzejewska noted that responsibility for limiting plastic pollution in the environment can not be a sole responsibility of consumers – coherent systemic change involving regulations, producer responsibility and education needs to be put in place.

One of the educational activities performed by the UNEP/GRID-Warsaw Centre was the first edition of the ‘Green Ribbon #ForThePlanet’ consumer campaign, that took place in 2018 under the umbrella of UNEP’s theme of World Environment Day - #BeatPlasticPollution.

Cross-sectoral Discussion

Panelists of the ‘European Green Deal: What Will the EU Plastics Strategy Change?’ also included:

  • Adam Jarubas, MEP(EPP/PSL).
  • Jan Filip Staniłko, Ministry of Development.
  • Paweł Sosnowski, Ministry of Climate.
  • Antonello Romano, PlasticsEuropeFoundation.
  • Filip Piotrowski, ZeroWaste Poland.

Other topics discussed during the debate include the assessment of the ways in which EU regulations will influence small and medium enterprises, efficient recycling mechanisms and fighting greenwashing.