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Single-use plastics are the new ozone layer, says UN environment chief

If you get caught with a plastic bag in Nairobi these days, you're on the hook for $1,000. That's because Kenya has signed up to a "circular economy" that bans single-use plastics, so there's no choice but to recycle. UN Environment Programme Executive Director Inger Andersen says more nations are finally responding to growing public awareness about plastic pollution, which she thinks could drive policy change like the hole in the ozone layer did decades ago.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Surviving a warming planet

"We just don't have time to mess around" on plastics pollution

Plastic pollution has caused a lot of damage to the environment — including a staggering loss of biodiversity that will soon affect humans. For Climate Bonds Initiative CEO Sean Kidney, the critical way to reverse this trend is to switch all production to biodegradable right now. "It's got to be everything, and we've got to do it fast. We just don't have time to mess around. There's been a lot of talk, a lot of talk for 10 years, not enough action. Whew. Time to change."

Refuse single-use plastics — but not the rest: Aloke Lohia

Refusing single-use plastics is okay, but Aloke Lohia, CEO of Indorama Ventures, believes all other plastics should be given "a fair chance" at recycling. Lohia says that some plastics are already 100 percent reusable, while chemical recycling is "just around the corner." Lohia spoke during the second of a two-part Sustainability Leaders Summit livestream conversation sponsored by Suntory.

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