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Kathmandu hosts multi-stakeholder interaction on the UN Convention on Plastic Pollution

KATHMANDU, April 21: A major multi-stakeholder interaction program was held in Kathmandu, focusing on the upcoming UN Convention on Plastic Pollution, INC4.

The event, organized by the Coalition on Plastics of Nepal’s CSOs including the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) and Tearfund, addressed crucial issues such as plastic pollution in the high mountains and the dangers of recycling deadly chemical plastics.

The program was chaired by Mohan Katuwal, Advisor to CEPHED and Vice President of Federation of Nepalese Cottage and Small Industries (FNCSI). Rajendra KC, Joint Secretary, Head of Environment and Biodiversity Department, Ministry of Forests and Environment, was present as chief guest.

Participants, including government officials, WHO representatives, environmental experts and various stakeholders, discussed the pervasive problem of microplastics found on Mount Everest and the broader implications of plastic pollution affecting the entire region.

Ram Charitra Sah, Executive Director and Environmental Scientist of CEPHED, representing Nepal CSOs Coalition on Plastics, presented a paper outlining strong requirements for proper inclusion in the upcoming United Nations Plastic Pollution Treaty. These demands include reducing the import, production, sale, distribution and use of plastic and plastic products; a ban on the recycling of items linked to plastic pollution, single-use plastics and plastics containing deadly chemicals; ensuring transparent information on chemicals used in plastic throughout its life cycle; preparing a separate annex to the Plastics Convention for chemicals used in plastics that are not covered by other treaties; minimizing the impact of plastic on the environment, public health and vulnerable groups; the adoption of extended producer responsibility (EPR) and the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) process; developing sustainable financing mechanisms for treaty implementation; and providing technical and financial assistance to developing and transition countries for effective treaty implementation.

Moreover, it was highlighted that despite efforts, the Ministry of Forests and Environment, the Ministry of Environment and several local bodies faced challenges in fully implementing policies to prevent and reduce plastic pollution.

To address this, the Ministry and the Department have adopted and implemented an action plan on the 2078 ban on plastic bags, with the aim of increasing effectiveness. Meanwhile, local bodies have also taken proactive steps by making eco-friendly and health-friendly decisions to combat plastic pollution.