environmental The International Energy Agency retracts an influential report which blamed five Asian countries for the majority of plastic pollution in the ocean.
The report, Stemming the Tide, from the US-based environmental group, also included incineration and waste-to-energy as “solutions” to the plastic crisis. Published in 2015, it has been denounced as the “waste of colonization” by hundreds of environmental, health and social justice groups across Asia.
The watchdog has now publicly apologized for creating an unfair “narration” about who is responsible for producing plastic waste and has removed the report from its website. Her apology on Wednesday was hailed as “long overdue” by Gaia, an alliance of 800 waste minimization groups in 90 countries, and through Break Free From Plastic, a global movement of more than 2,000 organizations.
The organizations said the report had caused years of damage by ignoring the role of northern countries in the excessive production of plastic and exporting plastic waste to developing countries under the guise of trade.
“This unprecedented regression of the report is an opportunity to interrupt decades of lost colonialism,” said Froelan Gret, JIA Asia Pacific Coordinator.
“Ocean Conservancy is in a position to raise awareness among other organizations and policy makers about the false narrative that the report is spreading.”
When contacted by the Guardian about the apology, the Ocean Conservancy referred it to the statement on its website, which it published in July.
Not only did the report “mistakenly blame” five countries — the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand — for the bulk of plastic pollution, but it “misled, for years, governments and the public into believing that burning plastic waste was a solution,” Greet said.
Gaya also said the Ocean Conservancy has underestimated the true cost of incineration in terms of climate and public health.
Moreover, the Ocean Conservancy admitted its mistake in not considering the contributions of Asia-Pacific communities looking for solutions to plastic waste, which Greet said were “disproportionately affected” by the report. He said she is now involved in the process of “restorative justice” by engaging with groups in Asia.
Stemming the Tide was written by consulting firm McKinsey, with a steering group including World wild animals The Fund, The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical Company, and the American Chemistry Council.
Kristi Keith, international coordinator for GAIA, said the five Asian countries mentioned in the report are not responsible for plastic waste. “This fault lies with the companies that are making and paying increasing amounts of plastic,” she said. “And those who fight for zero-waste societal solutions deserve to be honored and celebrated, not attacked.”
Satyarupa Shekhar, Asia Pacific coordinator for the Break Free from Plastic, said the Ocean Conservancy report “relaxed current restrictions on flaring and opened the doors to false solutions and controversial technical reforms to deal with the plastic pollution crisis.”
In the Philippines, a national ban on incineration has been threatened by new proposals to allow waste-to-energy plants, while in Indonesia, the government continues to push for waste incineration despite a Supreme Court ruling overturning presidential regulations to speed up waste development. Power plants or incinerators.
Stopping the tides is often cited by lawmakers and US federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Every country should be responsible for the waste it produces and not export it under the guise of ‘trade’,” said Sonia Mendoza, president of the Mother Earth Foundation in the Philippines.
The understanding of ocean plastic waste, including its origins, has evolved in recent years.
In the statement posted on its website, the Ocean Conservancy said it had “failed to address the root causes of plastic waste or integrate the impacts on communities and NGOs working on the ground in the places most affected by plastic pollution.” She said that including incineration and waste-to-energy as acceptable solutions to the plastic crisis is wrong.
“We haven’t thought about how these technologies can support continued demand for plastic production and impede the transition to a circular economy and a carbon-neutral future.”
“Moreover, by focusing too narrowly on one region of the world (East and Southeast Asia), we have created a narrative about who is responsible for the ocean plastic pollution crisis—a story that fails to acknowledge the outsized role that developed countries, particularly the United States, have played. It is still playing in the generation and export of plastic waste to this particular region.This too was a mistake.
The tidal stop was based on a Paper published in Science in February 2015, which estimated for the first time how much plastic entered the ocean from poorly managed waste on Earth, and ranked all 192 coastal nations accordingly.
Since then, data has been published showing that the United States ranks third among Countries Contributing to Coastal Plastic Pollution It challenges the common belief that the United States manages its pollution appropriately, highlighting the impact of its waste on developing nations.
Other researchwhich is now promoted by the Ocean Conservancy, recommends interventions to reduce, reuse and better manage plastic in all economies.