plastic waste in the ocean

Plastics Europe welcomes UNEP’s step closer to a draft agreement on a global plastics treaty

Paris – (2 June 2023) As the second Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) on a global agreement on plastic pollution concludes in Paris, the following statement can be attributed to Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of Plastics Europe:

“Finding a way to end plastic pollution by 2040 requires urgent and ambitious action. To accelerate circularity, we need to create market pull for circular plastics, the rapid global expansion of collection, sorting and recycling, and to create a financing system to support the massive investments required.

The difficulty of negotiating such an ambitious and important agreement is reflected in the intensity of the discussion to date. It is essential that these negotiations continue with the required urgency if we are to meet the objectives and timeline for the Agreement. Therefore, we welcome the decision to mandate UNEP to proceed with drafting a first proposal – the so-called “zero draft” – which will provide a basis for further substantive discussion and negotiation at INC-3.  

Despite the short deadlines and different stakeholder perspectives, we welcome the positive spirit in which the discussions have been held, and the collective desire to establish a common vision for the transformation of the plastics system.

We appreciate that all delegates are working to ensure a high-quality agreement which sets the right evidence-based priorities, and ensures that local communities and municipalities benefit from an inclusive transition. We must avoid the risk of rushed negotiations and decisions that grab headlines through politically attractive but scientifically and economically counterproductive measures.

We support a holistic approach to stop plastic pollution, built on sustainable plastic production, ensuring the diversification of feedstock and reduction of dependence on fossil feedstocks. We also believe that the sustainable consumption of plastics applications globally is one of the most efficient ways to end plastics pollution. In concrete terms this means that the agreement must tackle problematic and unnecessary plastic applications locally through a science-based methodology.

The agreement should contain mandatory and voluntary measures, obligations and criteria, hold all stakeholders involved accountable, and strike the right balance between global obligations and national measures. A one-size fits all global approach to policy and regulation cannot work.

As an organisation we will reflect on what we have heard and learnt at INC-2 and welcome the opportunity to continue these conversations. Intensifying the open and solutions-driven dialogue between all interested parties in advance of INC-3 will be very important in helping move the development of the agreement forward.”