G7 promised to end plastic pollution by 2040

Another problem invented

The G7 countries promise to end plastic pollution in their countries by 2040. The G7 climate and environment ministers agreed that Sunday in Tokyo, where the group of Western economic superpowers is meeting this weekend.

Last year, Germany, France, Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union already expressed the ambition to stop plastic pollution. Now, for the first time, they are also pasting an intended end date on it. According to the G7 declaration, the phasing out of plastic should be achieved by using more sustainable materials.

Over the past twenty years, plastic waste has doubled worldwide, and according to the OECD economic group, only 9 percent of it is recyclable. The United Nations fears that plastic pollution in the oceans will triple by 2040.

The G7 countries also want to stop using fossil fuels faster, but did not come up with an end date for that goal. The French minister wanted to do so and even mentioned 2030 as a goal, but Japan and the United States were at odds. Due to the current energy crisis, they did not want to commit themselves to a year that is so close.

The G7 foreign ministers meet in Karuizawa, Japan, northwest of Tokyo. Japan is the current chairman of the Western consultative group. Among other things, they are said to be talking about the waning influence of the West such as in the Middle East, the war in Ukraine and the tension between China and Taiwan. In the second half of May, there will be a G7 summit in Hiroshima.

The G7 is an economic-focused consultative group of Canada, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The European Union, formerly the European Economic Community, has also been joining since 1977.

It was at the beginning, in 1975, a meeting in a castle near Paris where the first members spoke informally about world problems. But the G7 has gained more and more weight as a Western summit that also deals with political issues.

The group of countries accounts for around half of global wealth and between 30 and 45 percent of the gross domestic product of all countries. It is home to approximately 10 percent of the world’s population.

However, the dominant Western club seems to be rapidly losing influence and is overtaken, for example, by China. China’s recent and discreet diplomatic success in bringing arch-rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia closer together in the Middle East has been watched in Western capitals with great surprise and great concern.

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