UNEA 4 MONITOR: #BreakFreeFromPlastic | The Youth Cafe

UNEA daily monitor is powered by The Youth Cafe’s delegates attending the fourth UN Environment Assembly. The newsletter tracks the most important negotiations and events and delivers the daily news through the lense of young people.

The Youth Cafe is truly saddened by the unfortunate event and loss of lives that occurrent on Sunday morning. As a group, we offer our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones. Our thoughts remain with you.


Previous UN Environment Assemblies and other international bodies have taken up the issue of plastic pollution, especially marine plastic litter and microplastics, recognizing it as an increasingly serious issue, which requires an urgent global response. The case against plastic has been gaining strength in the last few years.

While the data on how much plastic is accumulating in marine and land environments has been clear and dire for years, there is an increasing understanding of the full impacts of plastic pollution on human health – from cancer to neurological and respiratory disorders to developmental harm. Plastic not only is an environmental crisis: it is also a growing public health crisis on a global scale. Yet the plastics industry is only planning to expand, intending to increase production by more than 30 percent in the next five years.

Representatives from members of the #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement are requesting that one outcome from UNEA-4 be the creation of a Working Group to explore options, including a new convention on plastics with reduction targets for use and production. This vision is endorsed by more than 90 organizations worldwide.

This Working Group, established during UNEA-4, would send the message to the world– including the plastics and consumer goods industries – that we are prepared to act vigorously to protect marine and human health.