The most recent round of discussions to develop a Global Plastics Treaty recently concluded in Nairobi, ahead of the start of COP28 this week.
The initiative, led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), released its first draft in September this year, and these latest talks were an attempt to build on that framework.
World leaders and business partners still haven’t managed to agree on legally binding targets and timeframes to regulate the production of plastic and reduction of waste across its life-cycle.
“With the conclusion of this round of UN Plastic Treaty negotiations, there is still a need to encourage, and create a mandate for, the circular economy,” says Prevented Ocean Plastic™ Founder, Raffi Schieir. “This round of talks saw increased attendance by fossil fuel companies and lobbyists pushing against production curbs.”
On the plus side, over 3000 companies took part in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to declare their plastic production, usage, and disposal. By gaining a broader picture of what is happening, it is hoped we can deepen our understanding of what needs to be done to combat the situation.
“We need businesses to be supporting practical, tangible solutions to the problems at hand, rather than looking to offset it in the short-term,” adds Schieir. “It’s not about eliminating every type of plastic, and leaving a gap in the market for the people and businesses who rely on them, but it’s about making sure there are systems in place as to how it is managed throughout its life-cycle.
This must include listening to the waste collectors who are on the front lines of this initiative. Encouraging the circular economy gives us the ability to further incentivise collection, and to ensure that all plastic has a second life rather than ending up in the ocean, landfill, or being burned. The time for action is now.”
About PREVENTED OCEAN PLASTIC™:
Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is high quality, certified recycled plastic that has been collected from coastal areas at risk of ocean plastic pollution. Used by supermarkets and brands around the world, it meets regulatory health and safety standards, is traceable back to source and can be identified on-pack through its distinctive triangular logo. Prevented Ocean Plastic™ is an official nominee for the 2023 Earthshot Prize, and counts Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Booths Supermarket as key partners, along with major manufacturing partners such as Groupe Guillin, Spectra Packaging, and Berry Global for offerings across multiple product categories, including fish, poultry, soft fruits, pet food, personal care, and home cleaning.