plastic dumps

A team from the 鶹AV is heading to the world’s highest-level environmental decision-making event, with an important message – plastic action is climate action.

22 February 2024

3 minutes

A team from the 鶹AV is heading to the world’s highest-level environmental decision-making event, with an important message – plastic action is climate action. 

Scientists from the Revolution Plastics Institute are attending the - in Nairobi, Kenya to co-host an exhibition with and the , which will focus on how plastic pollution is accelerating climate change and making the impact of climate change worse.  The team wants to urge decision makers to consider the impacts of plastic pollution in conjunction with climate change and biodiversity loss.

The five-day event is a political platform bringing together environment ministers from 193 member countries to set priorities for the global environmental agenda. It is the planet’s top decision-making body on the environment. 

UNEA-6 will focus on the links between the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste. Backed by strong science, political resolve and engagement with society, UNEA-6 will be an opportunity for world governments, civil society groups, the scientific community and the private sector to shape the global environmental policy. 

We know plastic pollution is making climate change worse.  Plastics constitute a significant part of the global pollution threat: as breaking down into tiny pieces, forming micro- and nano plastics, and as toxic and hazardous substances released to the air at all stages of the plastics life cycle. We must understand the linkages between plastics and the triple planetary crisis, to search for solutions and minimise harmful impacts on the environment and people. Plastic action is climate action”.

Dr Cressida Bowyer, Deputy Director of the Revolution Plastics Institute

Dr Cressida Bowyer, Deputy Director of the Revolution Plastics Institute, said: “We know plastic pollution is making climate change worse.  Plastics constitute a significant part of the global pollution threat: as breaking down into tiny pieces, forming micro- and nano plastics, and as toxic and hazardous substances released to the air at all stages of the plastics life cycle. We must understand the linkages between plastics and the triple planetary crisis, to search for solutions and minimise harmful impacts on the environment and people. Plastic action is climate action”.

The exhibition will highlight how plastics contribute to climate change across the whole life cycle, through: 

  • The extraction of raw materials: more than 90 per cent of plastics are made from fossil fuels
  • Production of plastics: contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions
  • Plastic consumption: 60 per cent of global plastic production is for single-use products
  • Waste management: globally less than 10 per cent of plastic waste is recycled
  • Plastic pollution reduces the resilience of communities and the natural world to cope with climate change

The exhibition will also feature the launch of a new music video - Jitu La Taka by Pollution MHUB Studios featuring Billher, MC Sukuma, Teaboi and Nelmo Newsong,  lyrics that link plastic pollution to climate change.  A lifesize ‘plastic monster’ made up of plastic waste found in Nairobi which has been created by the , will also be showcased on the exhibition stand. 

The Revolution Plastics Institute, recently launched following the success of the Revolution Plastics initiative that has been instrumental in informing national and global policies on plastics, pioneering advanced enzyme recycling techniques and contributing to critical discussions on the UN treaty to end plastic pollution.  The Institute operates as a network of interconnected researchers and innovators across the University, bringing together and expanding a world-leading plastic-focused research, innovation and teaching community.

GRID-Arendal is a non-profit environmental communications centre. Its aim is to inform and activate a global audience and motivate decision-makers to effect positive change. GRID-Arendal collaborates with the United Nations Environment Programme and other partners around the world.