A worker stands in front of a pile of plastic waste as machinery processes it at a facility in Japan.
A worker stands in front of a pile of plastic waste as machinery processes it at a facility in Japan.Makiko Tanigawa/Getty Images
  • A ban on single-use plastics has support from three-quarters of people worldwide, Reuters reported.
  • Countries will meet in Nairobi later this month to start negotiating a plastics treaty.
  • Plastic pollution has intensified over the last few decades, especially during the pandemic.

Three-quarters of the world population want to ban single-use plastics like soda bottles, according to a poll published by Reuters and IPSOS.

The survey marks an uptick from 71% who favored a similar action in 2019. The strongest support for a single-use plastics ban came from respondents in Mexico, Colombia, and India, all nations hard-hit by plastic pollution, according to Reuters.

The poll, published early Tuesday London time, also found that 85% of those surveyed say that manufacturers and retailers should "be held responsible" for reducing the impact of plastic waste. The survey polled 20,000 people from 28 countries.

"People worldwide have made their views clear," Marco Lambertini, director general of the World Wildlife Fund International, told Reuters of the survey. "The onus and opportunity is now on governments to adopt a global plastics treaty … so we can eliminate plastic pollution."

Governments will have an opportunity to forge such a treaty later this month. That's when representatives of different nations will meet in Nairobi to make plans for a pact on plastics, Reuters reported. The meeting is scheduled to span from Feb. 28 until March 2.

Groups that lobby for oil and chemical companies, such as the American Chemistry Council, are pushing governments to avoid any agreements that would limit plastic production, an investigation by Reuters earlier this month found. Petroleum products are a key ingredient for producing plastic.

Ninety percent of those polled by the Reuters/IPSOS survey said they want a treaty to tackle plastic pollution, though a treaty could take a variety of forms, from focusing mostly on recycling efforts to broader curbs on plastic production.

Major manufacturers that rely on single-use plastics have publicized commitments that fall into the first category. Coca-Cola, for example, said earlier this month that it would make 25% of the packaging it uses worldwide reusable by 2030. 

Rival PepsiCo said in September that it would reduce its use of virgin plastic in its packaging.

Plastic packaging from food, beverages, and other consumer goods has become common in the environment. It has accumulated in large patches in the Pacific Ocean and can harm the health of humans and wildlife.

The problem has become even worse during the pandemic, with single-use plastics from hospitals accelerating pollution.

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