If a contract does not contain provisions for other agreements or measures, only the text of the treaty is legally binding. In general, an amendment to the Treaty only commits the States that have ratified it and the agreements reached at review conferences, summits or meetings of the States Parties are not legally binding. The Charter of the United Nations is an example of a treaty that contains provisions for other binding agreements. By signing and ratifying the Charter, countries have agreed to be legally bound by resolutions adopted by UN bodies such as the General Assembly and the Security Council. Therefore, UN resolutions are legally binding on UN member states and no signature or ratification is required. „treaty,“ an international agreement concluded in writing between states and governed by international law, whether inscribed in a single act or in two or more related acts, regardless of its particular name. Vienna Convention on Treaty Law, May 23, 1969, art. 2, par. 1) a), 1155 U.N.T.S. 331. In addition to treaties, there are other less formal international agreements. These include efforts such as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and the G7 Global Partnership Against the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Although the PSI has a „declaration of prohibition principles“ and the G7 Global Partnership includes several statements by G7 heads of state and government, it also does not have a legally binding document that sets specific obligations and is signed or ratified by member states. We recognize that Appendix V of the 1973 International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution by Ships, as amended by the 1978 Protocol (MARPOL), is an international convention dealing with plastic pollution. MARPOL, which prohibits ships from rejecting plastic at sea, was a big step forward. However, since MARPOL came into force in 1988, the oceans have not benefited from a reduction in plastic pollution. Instead, emissions accelerated at a rate equivalent to plastic production (3). This is because Appendix V is limited to sea-scale emissions and 80% of the plastic is dumped into the Sea of Semeère (3) from land. It is time for a reasonable international agreement, with clearly defined waste reduction targets and a solid foundation to provide all nations with the resources they need to make local reductions possible. Prevention and mitigation strategies that have already been successfully implemented at national and regional levels are case studies that can be replicated around the world, for example. B beverage container storage systems or legislation to eliminate single-use plastic products. Effective strategies must take into account all stages of the plastic life cycle – and connect manufacturers to Denern and, ultimately, waste managers.

Based on studies by non-governmental organizations (7), industries (8), scientists (9, 10), consultants (11, 12) and policy makers (13, 14), several steps could be taken to address the plastics problem and be the starting point for a useful international agreement. Plastic pollution has not received much attention for international agreements, in stark contrast to carbon emissions and other global pollutants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). There are many regional, national and international strategies to prevent and mitigate plastic pollution, but none have a level of commitment that softens globally and accelerates the growth of the problem.