By JENNIFER McDERMOTT
On Friday afternoon more than 2,000 experts will wrap up a week of negotiations on plastic pollution at one of the largest global gatherings ever to address what even industry leaders in plastics say is a crisis. It was the first meeting of a United Nations committee on plastics set up in March to draft what is intended to be a landmark treaty to bring an end to plastic pollution globally. The United Nations Environment Programme held the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee in Punta del Este, Uruguay Monday to Friday. Even in this first meetings of five set to take place over the next two years, factions came into focus as some countries want top-down global mandates, and the chemical industry wants country-by-country rules.