Global Plastic Treaty – Negotiations Underway For A Plastic-Free Planet: SSB Interview Topic

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened in Paris on May 29, 2023, for the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) on Plastic Pollution, often known as INC-2. INC-2, the successor to INC-1, which was held last year in Punta del Este, Uruguay, is the international community’s chance to set the ground for negotiations on a global agreement to prevent plastic pollution.

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Why In The News?

  • The 2nd Session Of The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee On Plastic Pollution Is Being Held In Paris, France From May 29-June 2, 2023.
  • A 55-nation Coalition Called For A Strong Treaty Including Restrictions On Certain Hazardous Chemicals As Well As Bans On Problematic Plastics Products That Are Hard To Recycle And Often End Up In Nature.
  • The U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), Which Is Hosting The Talks, Released A Blueprint For Reducing Plastic Waste By 80% By 2040. The Report, Issued Earlier This Month, Outlined Three Key Areas Of Action: Reuse, Recycling, And Reorientation Of Plastic Packaging To Alternative Materials.
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Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) On Plastic Pollution:

  • In February 2022, At The Resumed Fifth Session Of The United Nations Environment Assembly, A Historic Resolution Was Adopted To Develop An International Legally Binding Instrument On Plastic Pollution.
  • Including In The Marine Environment With The Ambition To Complete The Negotiations By The End Of 2024.
  • The Instrument Is To Be Based On A Comprehensive Approach That Addresses The Full Life Cycle Of Plastic.
  • The Rapidly Increasing Levels Of Plastic Pollution Represent A Serious Global Environmental Issue That Negatively Impacts The Environmental, Social, Economic, And Health Dimensions Of Sustainable Development.
  • Under A Business-as-usual Scenario And In The Absence Of Necessary Interventions, The Amount Of Plastic Waste Entering Aquatic Ecosystems Could Nearly Triple From Some 9-14 Million Tonnes Per Year In 2016 To A Projected 23-37 Million Tons Per Year By 2040.
Global Plastic Treaty Negotiations Underway For A Plastic Free Planet SSB Interview Topic 3

1st Session Of INC On Plastic Pollution:

  • The First Session Of The INC To Develop An International Legally Binding Instrument On Plastic Pollution, Including In The Marine Environment, Took Place In Uruguay From 28 November To 2 December 2022. Regional Consultations Took Place On 27 November 2022.

2nd Session Of INC On Plastic Pollution:

  • Currently, The 2nd Session Will Take Place From 29 May To 2 June 2023 At The United Nations Educational, Scientific, And Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters In Paris, France. The Meeting Will Be Preceded By Regional Consultations On 28 May 2023, At The Same Venue.
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Indian Contribution To Negotiations:

  • Delhi-Based Non-Profit Centre For Science And Environment (CSE), One Of The Accredited NGOs With The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • Made A Written Submission That Was Acknowledged By The INC Secretariat And Uploaded On The UNEP Portal For Public Information.
  • CSE’s Submission Focused On The Objectives And The Core Obligations, Control Measures, And Voluntary Approaches.
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Submissions By CSE:

  • The Objective Of The Instrument (International Legally Binding Instrument, Informally Known As The Global Plastic Treaty Or GPT)  Should Clearly Define Its Scope To End Plastic Pollution, And Plan To Reduce (Over A Period Of ‘X’ Years) Production And Consumption Of Plastics And Chemicals Used In Plastics, Especially By Businesses.
  • It Is Important To Identify And Stop The Production Of Non-recyclable (Terminologies Used In The UNEA Options Paper Are Problematic / Unnecessary /  Avoidable) Plastics Like Carry (Carrier) Bags And Multi-layered Packaging Material.
  • Certain Priority Sectors Like Packaging Have Been Using An Unsustainable Quantum Of Plastics (Typically Single-Use) – They Should Be Regulated And Have To Be Incorporated In The National Action Plans (NAP) And The National Reporting System Under Implementation Measures.
  • Under Core Obligations, Transparency With Respect To The Production, Consumption, And Import / Export Of Plastic And Plastic Waste Has To Be Created And Nurtured At A Global Level.
  • Control Measures Have To Be Focused On Differentiating Between Recycling And Disposal (Waste-to-energy And Co-incineration) Technologies.
  • Many Countries Have Expressed That Compostable And Biodegradable Plastics Are The Solutions To The Plastic Crisis. However, It Should Be Brought To The Knowledge Of The Member States That Bioplastics Come With Their Own Set Of Challenges And Do Little To Tackle The Plastic Problem At Source.
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