187 nations agree to reduce plastic pollution, but the U.S. is not one of them - SNEWS

A water bottle, a six-pack ring, a food container. Those items, plus 7,999,998 pieces of plastic find their way into the oceans every single day, according to Surfers Against Sewage. Over the year, that amounts to 8 million metric tons deposited into our waters. Needless to say, plastic pollution is a problem and the United Nations is recognizing that.

In an effort to curb plastic waste pollution, 187 nations—nearly every country in the world–agreed on Friday to add plastic to the Basel Convention, a UN treaty that regulates movement of hazardous waste from one country to the next, according to news reports.

But the U.S. was not one of them.

The amendment will require consent from receiving countries before plastic waste is traded. The U.S. will have to abide by the treaty, even though it did not ratify it. That means the U.S. must ask China's and Malaysia's governments, for example, before sending those countries plastic waste. 

Many countries have begun to restrict imports in an effort to deal with plastic littering their beaches. It's said to help stop the use of developing countries as a dumping ground.

The deal pertains to products used in many industries, including healthcare, technology, aerospace, fashion, and food and beverages.

The outdoor industry is helping curb plastic waste through the Plastic Impact Alliance and Promise. More than 150 brands have signed up to host a water station and reject single-use plastic at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in June.

Related

gearcoop-6

First retailer joins the Plastic Impact Alliance

Jennifer Anderson, online merchandising manager at Gear Coop, made a promise to herself for 2019: that she'd be more mindful of her plastic waste. She started by seeking reusable plastic shampoo and soap bottles and now she's learning to make bread to avoid the plastic bags that ...read more

YETI water fill station at outdoor retailer summer market 2019

A recap of plastic use at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market

Believe it or not, a zero-waste trade show is within our reach, especially if the industry rallies around the idea in the same way they did to ditch single-use plastic at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market last month in Denver, Colorado. Not only were single-use water bottles few and ...read more

Plastic Impact Alliance members as of April 26, 2019

The Plastic Impact Alliance is now 96 brands strong. Will you join?

Last year, the Super Bowl, one of the largest events in the country with more than 100,000 attendees, sought to keep 90 percent of waste out of landfills and send 10 percent to a waste-to-energy plant. Due to its magnitude, some were skeptical. But they pulled it off. Now, it's ...read more

Plastic bottle on the beach

Patagonia joins Plastic Impact Alliance, now 153 companies strong

Forming the Plastic Impact Alliance with our friends at Catapult Creative Labs has made us all the more aware of our plastic use—reusable water bottles and thermoses line our desks and bamboo cutlery and silicone snack bags fill our lunch bags. Even more than before, we think ...read more

Word cloud featuring "plastic, bags, reusable, grocery, etc.

What's your personal plastic pledge for 2020?

The anti-plastic warriors were out in force at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. Exhibiting members of the Plastic Impact Alliance, a coalition of more than 350 outdoor companies working to eliminate the industry's dependence on single-use plastic, displayed PIA signage at ...read more

Patagonia booth at Outdoor Retailer with shelves of books, corrugated metal

Patagonia's tracked every aspect of its waste at Outdoor Retailer

Patagonia has used the same booth for trade shows for the last 15 years. You know the one: It's all corrugated metal, wood panels, natural cement floor, and messaging about sustainability. Patagonia is, of course, known as a sustainability leader within the outdoor industry, but ...read more

A bin of trash in the grass

European lawmakers crack down on single-use plastic

It's almost a sin to buy a flat of plastic water bottles or accept a straw now in some places in the U.S. And now Europe has approved measures to completely ban some single-use plastic items by 2021. European lawmakers on Thursday approved plans (571-53) that could rid of ...read more

Live from OR

What's next for the Plastic Impact Alliance?

We talk with one of the leaders of the Plastic Impact Alliance, Michelle Fleming of Stanley, about the industry’s cohesive mindfulness around single-use plastic at Outdoor Retailer and what’s next for the Alliance. ...read more

Inside Ascent Outdoors

The top 10 outdoor industry stories of 2019

Over the last 12 months, we've published more than 630 stories—along with two 100-page magazines—on topics most relevant and important to the outdoor industry. From Alex Honnold's Oscar win to unrest at Camber Outdoors, we've covered the highs and lows that define our 2019 as an ...read more