June 4, 2019

Antigua and Barbuda Launch Declaration to Encourage Action on Plastic Pollution

News Source: Catherine Benson Wahlén

Author(s): SDG Knowledge Hub

1 June 2019: The Government of Antigua and Barbuda has signed and launched ‘The Antigua and Barbuda Declaration,’ which aims to encourage all Caribbean countries to act to eliminate the use of single-use plastics and end pollution of the oceans. The Declaration is part of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) President’s global campaign against plastic pollution and single-use plastics.

In December 2018, UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa launched a global call to action on plastic pollution, with the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Norway. The Campaign is focusing on global advocacy in collaboration with UN Member States and UN agencies to reach the public, and internal initiatives to reduce plastic use within the UN. Key activities include ‘Play It Out: A Festival Against Plastic Pollution,’ ‘Planet or Plastic: A UN Photo Exhibit’ and ‘Getting the UN in Order: Addressing Plastic Waste at the UN.’

The Declaration highlights island leadership on plastic action and the need for urgent and strong commitment to combat plastics pollution.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda signed the Declaration at the ‘Play it Out’ Concert in Antigua, which was also live-streamed globally. The event, a partnership between the UNGA President and the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda and Norway, is a festival against plastic pollution that aims to “play it out to phase it out.” The festival featured Grammy Award winner Ashanti, Machel Montano, Trinidad and Tobago’s ‘King of Soca,’ and international artists Bomba Estereo, Nico and Vinz, Robin Schulz, and Rocky Dawuni. UN Environment Programme (UNEP) WildforLife programme advocate Amanda Cerny, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Adrian Grenier and actress Meagan Good co-hosted the event.

Play It Out aimed to support global advocacy against plastic pollution and recognized initiatives that are helping to tackle the plastic pollution problem, such as the UNEP Clean Seas Campaign. The festival also aimed to help accelerate action on the Caribbean Plastic Action Plan.

UNGA President Maria Fernanda Espinosa, who attended Play It Out, welcomed the Declaration, saying it highlights “island leadership on plastic action and the need for urgent and strong commitment to combat plastics pollution.” She praised the Declaration for being historic, “highly practical” and implementable.

Antigua and Barbuda is the first country in the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC) to take extensive action on single-use plastics.