María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, president of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, singled it out as a key environmental concern she wants the body to address during her tenure, which began in September. She worked with several countries on launching a campaign in December to raise awareness and encourage phasing out single-use plastics, and has initiated a phase-out of such products at U.N. headquarters. Espinosa spoke with Scientific American in her office about the growing awareness of plastic pollution and the role she sees the U.N. playing in tackling it.