Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has expressed the collective hopes and ambitions of cities across the globe to address the plastic waste crisis during the high-level event organized by the French Government and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Paris, France.
“Let us recognize the power of cities, acknowledge our accomplishments, and empower us with the necessary tools to continue championing the call against plastic pollution. Together, we can forge a future where this is but a distant memory, and our planet thrives in its full glory,” she said.
Belmonte, chosen as the sole representative of local chief executives worldwide, expressed the cities’ call to national leaders to consider their needs in passing the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution (Plastic Treaty).
Like Quezon City, other cities are also experiencing the adverse impacts of plastic pollution including flooding from clogged sewers, air quality impacts from burning plastics, and the challenge of managing vast amounts of plastic waste.
To address these problems, Quezon City has initiated significant measures such as prohibiting single-use plastic bags and disposable cutleries, straws, and cups in restaurants and fast food chains for dine-in customers; and banning single-use containers and sachets in hotels.
“While we as cities are proud of our respective achievements, we recognize that we cannot address the plastic waste crisis alone. We need a truly ambitious global plastics treaty that unifies our efforts and sets a high bar for all nations to follow,” Belmonte raised.
She cited the provisions that world mayors wanted to be included in the treaty, including the total ban on unnecessary plastics and adoption of reusable items; the creation of a financial mechanism to help cities shift harmful consumption patterns into an innovative and sustainable one; and strengthened collaboration with cities in the negotiation process of the treaty to ensure realistic and implementable programs.