ISRAEL – Israel’s Ministry of Environmental Protection has confirmed that the nation is joining the coalition of countries calling to establish an international global plastics treaty.

The announcement was made by Israel’s Minister of Environmental Protection Idit Silman during the World Economic Forum in New York, US.

International negotiations for establishing a global plastic convention commenced last year in Uruguay.

According to the UN Environment Programme’s report,175 nations of the world are a part of this coalition to end plastic pollution. These countries have already laid out the target to set up a legally binding treaty by the end of next year.

This joining signifies that Israel can now be an official partner in the global agreements to kerb plastic pollution.

Israel will also be able to accelerate its internal efforts and be reinforced by its connection to these global initiatives, which is further expected to close key gaps in terms of legislation.

Silman said: “Changing habits is difficult, but we are required to do so – both in reducing the use of plastic and in preventing waste dumping in open spaces.

“Joining forces and creating a new and effective international treaty can create regulatory and economic systems that will push the market to stop using single-use plastics.

“Israel must be part of leading a global consensus to reduce the use of plastic, in implementing economic systems that will encourage international companies to design products that close the circle on reuse and prevention at source.”

Currently, the ministry is evaluating various policy tools and measures to minimize the use of single-use plastics domestically.

Israel is educating its citizens, reducing the distribution and sale of disposable utensils in the institutional market, implementing prevention at source measures, and expanding the scope of the plastic bag legislation across the country.

The Ministry of Environmental Protection also shared a report highlighting that the country witnessed a 73% decline in plastic bag usage in the last six years.

Israel’s move comes nine months after the country scrapped the tax on single-use items, which could have been instrumental in curbing plastic pollution, the nation has now aligned itself with an international coalition dedicated to combating plastic pollution.

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