03 Jul 2021 – 29 Jul 2021

Venue: Rotonde du Mont-Blanc

Organization: Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions

The Plastic Waste Partnership Photography Exhibition “Plastic is Forever”, featuring winners of the contest launched in 2020, is taking place from 3-29 July 2021 at the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc in Geneva. The exhibition displays the top-tier entries of the photography contest that the Plastic Waste Partnership launched in 2020 with the aim to promote outreach, education and awareness on the global plastic waste crisis.

About the Exhibition

For decades we have relied on plastic to keep us safe, insulate our homes and ensure our food stays fresh. From cell phones to car parts, PPE to syringes, the use of plastic has made our lives easier.

But when does plastic’s life come to an end?

Plastic waste can take anywhere from 20 to 500 years to decompose, and even then, it never fully disappears; it just gets smaller and smaller.

Consider this figure: 8.3 billion tons is the total amount of plastic ever made, half of which has been produced in the last 13 years.

Microplastics in particular have been found in every corner of the globe, from the peak of Mount Everest to the trough of the Mariana Trench. In fact, it has been estimated that humans ingest a credit card worth of plastic each week!

Yet of all the discarded plastic so far, only 9% has been recycled. 12% has been incinerated and the remainder has either been disposed in landfills or released into the environment.

The Basel Convention, the UN’s multilateral environmental treaty on the prevention, minimization and sound management of waste, has established the Plastic Waste Partnership to provide a platform that unites multiple stakeholders under the common goal of eliminating the leakage of plastic waste into our environment.

This year, we asked citizens from around the world to share with us photos that showcase how the indiscriminate use of plastic waste is impacting our daily lives and surroundings. At the photo exhibit, we are pleased to present the top entries.

Let’s work together to find a sustainable way to co-exist with plastic. If #PlasticIsForever, then we need to re-think and re-shape our relationship with this complex, useful and ubiquitous material.

This exhibit is organized by the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership, with the support of the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (BRS) under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Geneva Environment Network, and the City of Geneva.

Plastic is Forever Exhibition in Geneva

The exhibition is taking place from 3-29 July 2021 at the Rotonde du Mont-Blanc in Geneva.

Opening Event

On 5 July, the exhibition was formally opened with the following guest speakers:

  • Paul Rose, Explorer and Expedition Leader, National Geographic Pristine Seas (Master of Ceremony)
  • H.E. Amb. Tine Mørch Smith, Permament Representative of Norway to the United Nations in Geneva
  • Bruno Pozzi, Europe Director, UNEP
  • Abiola Olanipekun, Chief, Science and Technical Assistance Branch, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions
  • Alfonso Gomez, Co-Mayor, City of Geneva

Photos of the Opening Event

Photos ©UNEP, Malou Lenoir-Lasquite. Additional images are available at the BRS Flick Account.

Video of the Opening Event

Plastic is Forever UN Virtual Exhibition

The exhibition is also available on the United Nations virtual exhibition space.