RESOLUTION ECO 332

FORUM: ECOSOC

QUESTION OF: Measures to reduce non-biodegradable wastes

SUBMITTED BY: Austria

CO-SUBMITTERS:Australia, Brazil, ILO (Labour), Montenegro, Madagascar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Solomon Islands.

STATUSPassed

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL,

 

Deeply disturbed that within the next two decades, over 1.3 billion ton of plastic will enter the environment,

Guided by the 12th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) responsible consumption and production, and all of 11 of its targets,

 

Noting with regret that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the use of single-use plastics and is projected to increase 40% in the next decade,

 

Convinced that replacing plastic consumption with compostable products, increasing availability of recyclable products and expanding waste collection capacity could reduce plastic flow into the world’s oceans by 80% by 2040,

 

Aware that a majority of waste is from municipal sources,

 

Deeply conscious that to accomplish SDG 12, businesses must be involved and supported in their transition to sustainability,

 

Acknowledging that greater education regarding responsible, cyclic resource management is needed, both for civilians and businesses,

 

  1. Introduces a dedicated fund under the United Nations International Sustainable Innovations Fund (UNSIF) managed by the Unites Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), in order to support the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy and material production which will be distributed according to the following:
    1. funding will primarily be provided to individuals or organisations with promising innovations that can contribute to the replacement of unsustainable practices, as assessed by the managing bodies and will be used equally towards impoverished communities relying on finite resources, to assist with the replacement of these with sustainable alternatives while ensuring the change does not negatively impact the local’s quality of life, with guidance by the managing bodies
    2. reallocating workers under the United Nations Development Programme in the plastic industries or any other industries under the category of non-renewable energies through the creation of vocation education programs for employment in the fields of renewable energy under which the workers can choose to be enlisted;
  2. Encourages governments and businesses within the food sector to take measures towards reducing the waste produced by the food industry in a socially sustainable manner in ways such as but not limited to:
    1. disincentivizing plastic packaging and instead adopting biodegradable and/or recyclable packaging materials such as but not limited to biodegradable paper, cloth from recycled fibers, and dissolvable plastic, through means such as but not limited to:
      1. spreading of awareness on recyclable packaging materials to teach businesses about their existence through means such as government campaigns, being done as per the member nation’s discretion
      2. enacting subsidies into the production of biodegradable materials for a minimum of 3 years and a maximum of 15 
    2. inciting businesses to distribute their unsold food before its expiration date to local charities and rewarding them after 3 years of such with a “Sustainable Food Business” certificate to be determined by a joint effort between local governments and the UNIDO, to be revised every two years, which would improve the brands’ image and result the business in being more likely to receive government assistance:
      1. After 6 years of possessing the certificate and donating 30% of food waste, it will be upgraded to a Silver certificate
      2. After 6 more years and increasing food donations to 40%, the certificate will be upgraded to a Gold certificate
      3. After another 4 years and increasing food donations to 60%, the certificate will be upgraded to Platinum, the highest level
    3. labeling packaged food with its location of production in order to allow customers to make informed, environmentally sustainable decisions; 
  3. Seeks to implement measures to increase energy efficiency by adapting to renewable energies and phasing out fossil fuels from production methods in ways such as but not limited to:
    1. eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and taxing companies who refuse to transition to renewable energy an additional 10 to 20% of their habitual tax, up to each country’s discretion, to cover the environmental and social costs of pollution and to increment the tax by 1 to 5% annually,
      1. Least Economically Developed Countries (LEDCs) are to be provided aid in the creation and maintenance of new methods of gaining electricity through the creation of newer infrastructure such as but not limited to solar panels, wind turbines, biomass plants, with materials and construction being left towards the LEDCs with annual supervision by the UNOPS, 
      2. Companies based within LEDCs are to be given support in the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy through a 5-year transition period in which no additional taxing is done for fossil fuel use,
    2. utilise the Green Climate Fund to financially support the replacement of aging and inefficient infrastructure with suitable energy-efficient alternatives in LEDCs, which include:
      1. adding or renewing insulation
      2. providing adequate ventilation systems
      3. replacing incandescent bulbs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs
      4. replacing boilers over 25 years old with renewable energy, particularly solar energy;
  4. Deplores the improper disposal of chemical waste due to its noxious impact on the environment and civilian health, and hence aims to reduce this in ways such as the following:
    1. requesting governments to legally enforce the proper labeling of chemical waste in containers with information which must include:
      1. date of waste generation
      2. place of origin
      3. organisation’s name and contact information
      4. full name of the chemical within the container and quantity
      5. indication of the dangers of the contents
    2. recommends member nations to monitor the disposal of chemical waste into improper locations such as but not limited to: 
      1. regular trash disposal
      2. sewage systems
      3. burning, except for pharmaceutical chemicals which must be incinerated using the proper procedure in the presence of professionals at an appropriately fitted facility with scrubbers to prevent noxious substances from entering the atmosphere
      4. landfills
    3. reinforcing the construction and upscaling of recycling facilities using the aforementioned UNISIF in order to limit the number of pollutants in the environment (plastics, glass, and batteries) in such a manner that only absolutely unrecyclable materials be incinerated and encourage nations to use the heat produced by the incineration as energy;
  5. Calls for the increase of education regarding cyclic use of resources through courses, particularly online courses, aimed at businesses and civilians in ways such as but not limited to:
    1. requesting governments to raise awareness to a public online course to be created by the UNOPS teaching businesses how to reuse and recycle their materials without resorting to improper disposal methods, instead of teaching them by using:
      1. successful case studies from all member nations in which it is explored how SDG 12 was followed and how other businesses replicate the same sustainable practices
      2. United Nations’ (UN) recommendations so that businesses may be updated regarding sustainable corporate practices
      3. access to Questions and Answers (Q&A) section to which experts and UNOPS can respond to weekly,
    2. Implementing UN research verified reports or videos highlighting the damages non-biodegradable waste on the environment into school systems by the means of using ‘mentor hour’ or ‘home room’ which would include: 
      1.  The effects of waste on SDGs especially 13, 14, and 15
      2. Videos showing evidence of these effects
      3. Encouraging students to come up with ways to make their own school more sustainable
      4. Encouraging schools to add the club Global Issues Network (G.I.N) – a student-led club to their club options focussing on making their school a better and friendlier place to be
      5. Informing students about the tremendous amount of water usage from households and urging them to reduce their water usages;
  6. Urges member states to create a research group on sustainable agriculture practices that will;
    1. assemble ideas and search for new methods to eliminate the harmful effects of non-ecological farming with the guidance of member states which has managed an ecological system by:
      1. researching new technologies such as but not limited to a sprayable resistant film made up of a water solution of natural polymers like the one did BIOCOAGRI Project
      2. allowing European Union (EU)  farming to ‘release its latent productivity potential’ which will raise yields
    2. analyze reports and conventions such as but not limited to the Right of Association (Agriculture) Convention (ILO Convention C011) in order to see the methods which have given positive results and the ones that gave rise to negative effects
    3. establishing sustainability checks and programs in ways such as but not limited to: 
      1. requiring firms to submit the number of resources such as electricity and water used and waste produced for their production annually which will be overseen by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
      2. Conducting annual checks of firms from government officers and professional consultants to record the ethicality and effectiveness of the production, to provide advice and guidelines as to how the production method can be improved, and recommending different types of materials and resources for production
  7. Calls for member states to support sustainable tourism, particularly in LEDCs who depend heavily on tourism by means such as but not limited to: 
    1. Implementing methods to decrease the amount of space tourism can pollute as well as using dealing with the waste of popular tourist attractions during high tourist times by the means of but not limited to: 
      1. Placing more recycling bins around such places, along with hiring staff or guards’ that encourage people to dispose of any waste products dropped
      2. Introducing the use of incentives, such as small change, in exchange for correctly placing glass and plastic in their respective regions through the use of machines
      3. Passing legislation to increase the number of area zones as “nature reserves” or similar areas in which tourism industry infrastructure, such as hotels, are not able to build
    2. Prohibiting flights with the exception of military or other relating issued flights that are not over 80% full with the exception of emergencies such as: 
      1. Passengers onboard with family emergencies, would reduce the percentage to 50% and require proof of such emergency by the forms of certificates, photos, and any other such reliable documents
      2. Military officials with proper reasoning such as returning home, being deployed etc
      3. Government officials conducting official governmental business
      4. Passengers are to be warned when purchasing tickets that the flight is below 80% booked to avoid frustrated passengers forced to cancel resulting in a 50% refund 
    3. Creating an application made for travelers to encourage them to travel via:
      1. Eco-friendly airlines and carriers that use sustainable aviation biofuels such as KLM, Qantas, and United Airlines
      2. Train if planes are not absolutely necessary as they are said to generate up to 10 times fewer carbon emissions than an airplane. As well as recommending the usage of high-speed trains like carbon-neutral Eurostar which is said to be three times more energy-efficient as compared to regional trains
      3. Consider economically efficient small ships instead of large cruises (when required traveling for relocation and not pleasure) such as Alaskan Dream cruises that work to protect sensitive areas or Aqua Expeditions which fund pandemic care to the communities they visit as well as protecting wildlife
      4. View of National Energy Ministers and Sustainability Ministers in their respective states;
      5. Bike/cycle, by showing nearby bike rental areas on a map;
  8. Requests the creation of a Less Economically Developed Infrastructure Fund (LEDIF) as a means of creating buildings and factories such as disposal, collection, wastewater treatment and recycling facilities to stimulate better waste management through:
    1. The setting up of councils as a means of overseeing the activity of construction for any of the aforementioned buildings or facilities including:
      1. Construction supervisors in order to monitor the progress of the workers,
      2. Environmental engineering experts to monitor the construction plans and the build of all specialised waste handling rooms,
    2. The development of platforms and/or conferences where MEDCs and LEDCs can come together with a team of experts on Sustainable Energy and Infrastructure and prioritise the creation of particular buildings based on their evaluation of the nation’s use of non-biodegradable waste through analysing factors such as:
      1. Percentage distribution of the nation’s sources of energy,
      2. Mass of non-biodegradable waste measured or accounted for in the nation, 
      3. View of National Energy Ministers and Sustainability Ministers in their respective states.