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G20 agrees to tackle ocean plastic waste

KARUIZAWA, Japan – Group of 20 environment ministers agreed yesterday to adopt a new implementation framework for actions to tackle the issue of marine plastic waste on a global scale, the Japanese government said, after hosting the two-day ministerial meeting.

Environment and energy ministers of the Group of 20 major economies met this weekend in Karuizawa, north-west of Tokyo, ahead of the G20 summit in Osaka, western Japan, on June 28 and 29.

One issue was ocean plastic waste as images of plastic debris-strewn beaches and dead animals with stomachs full of plastic have sparked outrage, with many countries banning plastic bags outright.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said he wants his country to lead the world in reducing marine plastic trash, including developing biodegradables and other innovations.

The new framework is aimed at facilitating further concrete action on marine waste, though on a voluntary basis, after the G20 Hamburg Summit in Germany adopted the “G20 action plan on marine litter” in 2017.

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