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The need to address the impact of chemicals and hazardous wastes on the global environment and people has been recognized by the international community over the past thirty years, leading to the adoption of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions. These three agreements are collectively referred to as the BRS Convention and have joint conferences of the Parties. The second category of international legal instruments relating to plastic pollution includes binding and voluntary international instruments relating to marine activities. As with climate change, the large Oceanic developing pacific island states, despite their relatively small contribution to the problem, are at the forefront of the effects of plastic pollution. As large marine states, Pacific islands have more coastal areas, making them more exposed than other countries to ocean plastic waste streams caused by ocean currents. The Pacific islands also depend on imported products, bringing large amounts of plastics and a legacy of plastic waste to the islands that their limited resources struggle to manage. Plastic pollution has received little attention in terms of international agreements – a remarkable contrast to emissions of carbon 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 has a commitment that adapts to the global scale and the accelerated growth of the problem. Local policies and measures (e.g.

B bans on microbeads and single-use plastic bags) are spreading around the world, but there are only a handful of international documents focused on plastic pollution, including MARPOL, the Honolulu Strategy and the New Clean Seas Campaign of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). While these international strategies recognize global contamination, they do not contain a binding commitment that addresses the challenge. Tackling the plastic pollution crisis is beyond the capacity of any country, region or sector and necessarily requires an international response. At present, there is no such framework for coordinating action at the global level, as confirmed by an in-depth review by UN Environment, which concluded that “there is no global agreement to specifically prevent plastic waste and microplastics in the ocean or to provide a comprehensive approach to the life cycle management of plastics”. [1] It is important to know whether the capacity to prevent and mitigate plastic pollution at the local and national levels varies across countries and regions due to the availability of resources for waste management. Many regions receive large imports of single-use plastic products, but have inadequate infrastructure for waste collection and management. As a result, large amounts of plastic waste enter the environment, are deposited in makeshift landfills and/or are treated by combustion in the open air, resulting in emissions of hazardous chemicals. .