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Third Global Plastics Agreement Negotiations Make Headway on Solutions to Eliminate Plastic Pollution but Stronger Support for Circularity Needed

Nairobi – (20 November 2023) As the third Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-3) to create a global agreement on plastic pollution concluded Sunday in Nairobi, the following statement on behalf of the Global Partners for Plastics Circularity can be attributed to Benny Mermans, chair of the World Plastics Council:

“INC-3 made progress towards an effective and practical plastics agreement. The Global Partners for Plastics Circularity (GPPC) commend government negotiators for improving the Zero Draft by adding additional elements needed to accomplish the agreement’s intent – ending plastic pollution.

“The GPPC continues to advocate for an agreement that will accelerate circularity, maximize the participation of UN member states, and is equitable to developing countries. This can be best accomplished by creating demand signals that will unlock investments in product design innovations, collection and recycling infrastructure, and financing systems that incentivize circularity to keep used plastics out of landfills, incinerators and our environment.

“INC-3 illuminated the positions of many more governments, and it became clear that there is growing support for these tenets, although the current text can still provide stronger support for circularity.

“Circularity is more than recycling, it involves designing products to be reused and/or easily remade, incorporating recycled plastic in new products, and providing adequate waste management to the approximately 3 billion people who currently lack it. The benefits of a circular economy are many: it helps minimize waste and prevent plastic pollution, conserves natural resources resulting in a lower environmental footprint from plastics production, and creates opportunities for the informal sector.

“Plastic makers across the globe are investing tens of billions of dollars in projects that are critical to ramping up a circular economy for plastics. The agreement holds the potential to unleash even greater investment by requiring national action plans to have circularity targets, such as reuse and/or recycling rates, and requiring recycled content in plastic packaging and products. This would avoid the unintended consequences of supply-side constraints of a material essential to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Governments at INC-3 also made clear they want better transparency and information on additives used in plastics to help enable sound chemical management decisions. The International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) is supporting this call to action by developing a publicly available plastic additives database that will aggregate and leverage the extensive existing information from chemical management programs, and bolster it with data from additive manufacturers. We look forward to working with and receiving feedback from governments on how we can make the database most useful to them.

“In the runup to INC-4, we invite governments to work with us on finding solutions that can help solve the unique challenges countries face in eliminating plastic pollution.”

Global Partners for Plastics Circularity

The Global Partners for Plastics Circularity is a multinational collaboration of associations and companies that make, use and recycle plastics. GPPC is supported by the World Plastics Council and the International Council of Chemical Associations and many other country and regional plastic associations around the globe. We are advocating a global agreement to help accelerate a sustainable, circular economy for plastics. These modern plastic materials are used around the world to create essential and often life-saving products, many of which are critical to a lower carbon, more sustainable future.

Contact:  Matthew Kastner 

Phone:  +1 202-961-0634