RESOLUTION ECO 311

FORUM: ECOSOC

QUESTION OF: Measures to reduce non-biodegradable waste

SUBMITTED BY: Luxembourg

CO-SUBMITTERS:Canada, Greenpeace, Colombia, Mexico, Montenegro, Panama, Turkmenistan, United States of America.

STATUSApproved

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL,

Defines “strategically placed” as working with local infrastructure officials in government to maximize the  efficiency of the placement of the item in question,

Conscious that the large majority of common plastic items take up to 450 years to biodegrade, and materials that do not naturally decompose remain in landfills, occupying space that could be utilized otherwise,

Taking into consideration the estimated 14 billion pounds of waste ends up in the world’s oceans annually and its deadly consequences on marine organisms,

Keeping in mind the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has drastically increased the amount of product deliveries and curbside pickups, consequently increasing the amount of packaging on retail products,

Having considered both the environmental and the economical effects that the waste management industry can have,

Taking into account the need for technological advancements in the field of waste management,

Referring to the United Nations Environment Program as the UNEP,

Further defines domestic hazardous waste as any form of domestic waste which is not easily recycled and is harmful to the surrounding environment if not handled properly, such as batteries or cleaning supplies,

Recognizing the need for proper waste management of all forms of waste globally,

Fully aware of the effects that an inadequate response to this issue may cause,

  1. Requests that Member Nations lower the total non-biodegradable waste by reducing the use of plastic packaging for single use products, and promoting the reuse and recycling of materials, by providing the public with educational resources on information about waste and how to properly handle it, through whichever media campaigns they see fit;
  2. Urges that the retail industry reuses and recycles used materials and products, through means such as but not limited to:
    1. promoting local businesses and second hand shopping in large cities rather than promoting large corporations and superstores
    2. promoting retailers to donate damaged items to shelters and non-profit organizations rather than throwing them away
    3. encouraging all manufacturers to reduce the use of plastic packaging for single use products by:
      1. replacing single use packaging with biodegradable materials such as paper in order to promote sustainability
      2. having grocery stores provide recyclable or biodegradable paper grocery bags in the place of plastic ones;
  3. Further urges all Member Nations to ensure that companies and corporations take responsibility for safely handling any industrial waste which they produce by creating:
    1. laws which hold them accountable for the waste they produce, these include means such as but not limited to:
      1. neutralization of chemical waste, by using facilities such as bio-methane labs to reduce harmful bio-chemicals, and promote to local agriculture, in More Economically Developed Country (MEDCs)
      2. additional taxes based on how much non-biodegradable and non-recyclable waste they produce, such that the more waste they produce, the more they have to pay
    2. fines for any company, firm or factory which mishandles their industrial waste, specifically if they fail to recycle their plastic waste and do not neutralize and remove any chemical or hazardous waste;
  4. Strongly urges Member Nations to collaborate through the UNEP to create an international database with accurate information on:
    1. waste production in each Member Nation
    2. any scientific research on:
      1. waste management and disposal
      2. effects of waste on the environment
      3. ways to manage waste already in the environment
      4. microplastics and how to detect them
      5. biodegradable alternatives to non-biodegradable materials, such as plastics
      6. methods of recycling non-biodegradable materials;
  5. Suggests the improvement of the quality of recycling infrastructure by:
    1. enforcing stricter policies on the discard of waste division by:
      1. ensuring those who are assigned for community work or community restitution examine the efficiency and effectiveness of citizens dividing their waste products; e.g. biodegradable waste, e-waste and plastic
      2. implementing more bottle deposit areas where people are able to retrieve their deposits by recycling their plastic bottles
    2. creating a recycling legislation at international global sea ports through: 
      1. mandating that all shipping transiting through the ports must offload all non-biodegradable waste for processing at the newly instituted recycling infrastructure
      2. the provision of fines or, conversely, incentives (such as transit fee rebates) for proactively developing sustainable behavior changes
    3. creating the necessary social and economic infrastructures at international global sea ports through the provision of:
      1. a diverse set of employment opportunities to the communities within the recycling industry to recycle non-biodegradable materials
      2. source material to sell to other processors to utilize recycling ocean plastics into second life circular economies;
  6. Considers implementing improved waste management practices through:
    1. strategically implementing waste disposal containers in public outdoor recreational areas with most foot traffic  to reduce littering, and having vendors provide customers with proper information on the disposal of all their products to ensure they are not being littered
    2. making takeaway restaurants and online food vendors give customers utensils, condiments in single use packages, and disposables only upon customer request
    3. ensuring packaging on all single use products has instructions on how to dispose of the product and its packaging with clear and appropriate labeling
    4. stationing plastic containers that pay citizens who use them, by implementing:
      1. containers made out of biodegradable materials, that will collect and reuse/recycle, and will give 10 cents USD to the person for each piece of plastic recycled 
      2. one container per 500 citizens
    5. supplementary materials include glass bottles for water, soda packaging, paper or cloth bags for daily grocery shopping, wood for single use cutlery, ceramic for plates, bamboo for toothbrushes, straws and plates,
    6. the creation of accessible points where people can drop off their hazardous domestic waste so it can be properly handled, and ensuring that any waste is properly handled by employing a sufficient number of employees, the number of which may differ due to factors such as population, and average waste produced.