Ecuador Partners With World Economic Forum In Fight Against Plastic Pollution


On the inaugural day of the Sustainable Development and Impact Meetings, Ecuador announced its decision to join a committed group of countries partnering with the Global Plastic Action Partnership. The GPAP is a multistakeholder platform dedicated to translating commitments to reduce plastic pollution and waste into concrete action. It aims to shape a more sustainable and inclusive world through the eradication of plastic pollution. 

Ecuador’s association comes at a crucial moment, just before the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) begins its work in November to assess country ambitions for a treaty on plastic pollution. The 11 representatives of the INC bureau, including the Deputy Foreign Minister of Ecuador Luis Vayas, will meet in Uruguay to start negotiating a legally binding treaty.

Globally, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled, another 19% is incinerated, 50% ends up in landfill and 22% evades waste management systems and goes into uncontrolled dumpsites, is burned in open pits, or ends up in terrestrial or aquatic environments. Plastic waste and debris contamination mainly affects marine fauna, even though most of these come from land sources (approximately 80%, due to inadequate management and indiscriminate use of these products). Currently, 60% of the garbage in the beaches of Ecuador corresponds to plastic and microplastic waste and debris.

“The Galapagos Islands remind us of a universal responsibility with biodiversity and nature. We are delighted to see Ecuador’s leadership and look forward to our collaboration as we jointly tackle this key global issue,” said Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum.

“The Global Plastic Action Partnership looks forward to supporting cross-cutting governmental efforts and multistakeholder action in Ecuador at a pivotal time for the global agenda on plastics pollution. As the amount of plastic waste produced globally is on track to almost triple by 2060, countries are taking increasingly action orientated steps to tackle the issue,” said Kristin Hughes, Director Global Plastics Action Partnership. 

In line with its environmental leadership and cross-cutting ecological transition policy, Ecuador will work with the GPAP and other strategic allies to launch a national partnership to strengthen the country’s efforts and tackle plastic waste pollution. 

“We are aware of the triple environmental crisis the planet is suffering and we are committed to promoting actions that allow us to mitigate its effects. For President Guillermo Lasso’s government, caring for the oceans and all ecosystems is essential, which is why we expanded the ‘Hermandad’(Brotherhood) Marine Reserve of the Galapagos Islands,” said Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility Juan Carlos Holguín. “In addition, together with Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, we committed to the sustainable management of resources and created the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR). The association of Ecuador to the GPAP is an immediate response and it will bring together efforts from different actors to propose solutions to plastic pollution.”

Minister of Environment Gustavo Manrique highlighted Ecuador’s ecological transition policy and stressed the decisive steps the country has already taken, including the Law of Single-use Plastics, municipal directives, the Circular Economy Law, Redeemable Taxes on Plastic Bottles, and programmes such as “Galapagos Zero Garbage”. 

In addition, together with Germany, Viet Nam and Ghana, Ecuador led the Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution in Geneva, Switzerland, in September 2021, after which the INC was created.

The GPAP will support Ecuador, one of the world’s most biodiverse countries and home to the Galapagos Islands, in strengthening its technical capacities, accessing global knowledge and practice networks, as well as its efforts to convene multistakeholder platforms needed to advance national and international objectives. Nations currently implementing such partnerships include Ghana, Pakistan, Indonesia, Viet Nam and Nigeria, and local partnerships with Maharashtra State in India and Mexico City.

The objective of GPAP is to enable a circular economy framework for plastics, designed and implemented between public and business leaders, civil society and the scientific and academic community, to reduce plastic pollution. It also includes strategic opportunities for financing, innovation and metrics.

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