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Dutch join G-7 push to rid oceans of plastics

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced his country's endorsement of a G7-led initiative to rid the oceans of plastics, during a visit to Ottawa on Thursday.

[OTTAWA] Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced his country's endorsement of a G7-led initiative to rid the oceans of plastics, during a visit to Ottawa on Thursday.

Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Italy, along with the European Union, signed the Ocean Plastics Charter at a leaders' summit in Canada's Charlevoix region in June, although neither the United States nor Japan put their names to a detailed timeline.

Four other nations and 18 multinationals, including Coca-Cola and Walmart, have also pledged to help ensure 100 per cent of plastics are recyclable by 2030 and to develop more viable alternatives to plastic packaging, in order to slash waste.

"I am happy to announce that the Netherlands endorses the charter and the goals for the recycle management of plastics, in our goal to get to 100 per cent circular economy in the Netherlands," Mr Rutte told a joint press conference with his Canadian host.

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In a speech to the Canadian parliament, Mr Rutte earlier paid tribute to the thousands of Canadian soldiers who died during WWII to help liberate the Netherlands, while warning that the peace and stability they fought for is now under threat.

"I think it is fair to say that Canada and the Netherlands are sturdy pillars supporting the international order that arose from the ruins of the Second World War," Mr Rutte said.

"With all the geopolitical shifts and global challenges we face, working together is now as crucial to the future of our children as it was for our grandparents after the Second World War," he said. "It's up to us to make it happen."

"Countries like ours must stand up for human rights and democracy and the rule of law at a time when these institutions are facing growing uncertainty," echoed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reporters.

AFP