Historic agreement on plastic pollution reached by 187 countries without the US

187 countries have pledged to meet control measures to curb plastic pollution, but the US wasn’t one of them, according to United Nations environment officials.

Nations agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that regulates movement of hazardous materials from one country to another, in order to combat the dangerous effects of plastic pollution around the world.
The pact was approved at the end of a two-week meeting of UN-backed conventions in Geneva, Switzerland.

Much of the waste had so many kinds of materials mixed together that it was almost impossible to sort and recycle. Some was mixed with garbage. Huge amounts of waste began to pile up.

The problems aren’t just limited to these countries. There are about 220.5 billion pounds (100 billion kilograms) of plastic waste in the oceans. This number grows larger every year. Whales, dolphins, and other sea animals are turning up dead on beaches, their insides full of plastic waste.

But there is hope that change is on the way. Last week, 187 countries signed a United Nations (UN) agreement to help control plastic waste.

Instead of making a brand-new agreement, the United Nations added plastic to an existing agreement, called the Basel Convention. The Basel Convention was originally meant to control dangerous chemicals, so adding plastics makes sense.

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