WTO deputy director general emphasises role of trade in dealing with plastic pollution

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WTO deputy director general Alan Wolff
WTO deputy director general Alan Wolff

World Trade Organisation (WTO) deputy director general Alan Wolff has said that trade can help deal with global plastic pollution.

In a speech given to the Graduate Institute session on plastic pollution as part of Geneva Trade Week, he noted that plastic pollution is “a global crisis requiring concerted trade action” and that trade can contribute towards building a circular economy.

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He said: “Tackling plastic pollution and moving towards better plastics trade will require coordination and collective action along the entire supply chain from a range of stakeholders, including policymakers, producers and consumers.

“Trade and trade policy can be part of the solution. Trade policies can help promote trade in goods and services that support broader efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

“Trade could also provide opportunities to gain access to world-class waste management solutions and to participate in supply chains for less-polluting alternatives. Trade can help to scale up solutions that facilitate a transition to a sustainable and circular plastics economy.”

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