Pre-INC-4 Statement on the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations

Negotiators must focus on increasing the value of plastic waste as a circular feedstock

Brussels: 17 April 2024

According to Virginia Janssens, Managing Director, Plastics Europe:

“To ensure the Global Plastics Treaty* negotiations can be concluded successfully, and on time, we urge everyone, including our industry and Governments, to work more closely together and stay focussed on identifying common solutions in Ottawa.

We believe that transitioning from a linear to a circular plastic system, in which all plastic applications are reused, recycled, and responsibly managed, is key to tackling the problem of plastic waste. And the most effective way to accelerate this transition while maintaining the utility that plastics offer society is for the Treaty to make plastic waste a commodity with real value.

The greater the economic value of plastic waste, the greater the incentive to not litter, landfill or incinerate, but to reuse and recycle instead. This will create a massive additional incentive to increase investment in waste management infrastructure and innovation, and drive growth and employment.

Therefore, we urge negotiators to focus on policy measures that will increase the value of plastic waste as a circular feedstock by increasing demand for circular plastic raw materials, including the introduction of mandatory recycled content targets for sectors that use plastics at the national level.

Policies and measures that increase the value of plastic waste must be supported by sustainable financing mechanisms. EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) schemes are an example of financial and operational mechanisms that can be an effective tool for managing the end-of-life of products.

Whilst the negotiations should be pursued with urgency and ambition, we must avoid one-size-fits-all and superficially attractive decisions, that will lead to unintended environmental and socio-economic consequences and undermine our ability to effectively implement the Treaty.

Rather than bans and negative lists, which are blunt and counterproductive measures, we urge negotiators to support an application and science-based approach.  This would allow us to define and avoid problematic and avoidable plastics applications leaking into the environment, without creating additional environmental damage and unnecessary socio-economic harm.”

Notes to editors

* 175 nations have agreed to develop a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution, also known as the Global Plastics Treaty. Plastics Europe is the pan-European association of plastics manufacturers with offices across Europe. For over 100 years, science and innovation has been the DNA that cuts across our industry. With close to 100 members producing over 90% of all polymers across Europe, we are the catalyst for the industry with a responsibility to openly engage with stakeholders and deliver solutions which are safe, circular and sustainable. We are committed to implementing long-lasting positive change.

Press Contact

Cecilia Koshiikene

Communications Specialist

Phone: +32 (0)2 792 30 27