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G7 nations pledge to end new plastic pollution by 2040

G7 environment and climate ministers pledged to end new plastic pollution in their countries by 2040, they have said in a statement after talks in northern Japan.

“We are committed to end plastic pollution, with the ambition to reduce additional plastic pollution to zero by 2040,” it said on Sunday.

Germany, France, Canada, Britain and the EU are already part of a multi-national coalition that made the same pledge last year.

But this is the first time the remaining Group of Seven members – Japan, the United States and Italy – have made the 2040 commitment.

READ MORE: G7 ministers meet to consider Japan’s climate proposal

German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke hailed the bloc’s new plastic pollution pledge as an “ambitious goal” at a press conference following the two-day talks in Sapporo.

The phase-out will be achieved by “promoting sustainable consumption and production of plastics, increasing their circularity in the economy, and environmentally sound management of waste”, the statement said.

Plastic waste has doubled globally in 20 years and only nine percent is successfully recycled, according to the OECD group of developed countries.

The United Nations says the volume of plastic entering the oceans will nearly triple by 2040.

READ MORE: G7 nations agree to cut gas usage, increase fossil fuels phasing out

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