The second round of Plastic Treaty negotiations started with an NGO protest

The second round of Plastic Treaty negotiations started with an NGO protest


An international legally binding agreement to end global plastic pollution (Global Plastic Pact) is due by 2024. There are 175 countries involved. It should contain targets to reduce pollution throughout the plastic lifecycle (from resource extraction to end-of-use and waste disposal) to end plastic pollution. The basis for the agreement is the mandate adopted at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in March 2022 by UNEA Resolution 5/14.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the plastics crisis cannot be solved nationally or regionally. Projections predict a doubling of plastics production in the next 15-20 years.

People everywhere work in plastic production and processing for the global market. Microplastics and chemicals used throughout the life cycle of plastics pose a risk to humans. Plastic products and waste are sold and transported around the world.

To comprehensively address these issues, the negotiation process for a draft agreement on plastics is underway, and the plan is to complete it by the end of 2024. The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee’s (INC) first meeting was held in Uruguay in November 2022. The second Negotiating Committee (INC2) meeting takes place in Paris from May 29 to June 2, 2023. 

In addition to government representatives, various interest groups are involved in the negotiation process, such as civil society organizations, representatives of indigenous and minority peoples, businesses and academia.

Two more INC meetings will occur before the planned conclusion of the process by the end of 2024. 

Non-governmental organizations and civil society groups, particularly, work a lot to address the plastic pollution crisis. Unfortunately, at INC2, their participation is significantly limited. Not all registered organization representatives can enter the UNESCO building, where the INC2 meeting occurs.

Yesterday, on the first day of the meeting, civil society organizations gathered near the entrance to the UNESCO building, demanding broad participation in the INC’s work.

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Written by Olga Speranskaya