For Immediate Release, September 4, 2023
Miyoko Sakashita, (510) 845-6703, email@example.com
Global Plastics Treaty Chair Releases ‘Zero Draft’ Ahead of Third Meeting
Initial Text Calls for Reduced Plastic Production
NAIROBI— The chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution released the “zero draft” of the global plastics treaty today. This preliminary document is a starting point for negotiations. The treaty’s third negotiating session, or INC-3, will begin in Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov. 13.
The draft contains some provisions calling for a reduction in plastic production and the elimination of particularly harmful types of plastic and chemicals. It also recognizes the need for transparency and a just transition. It does not set robust targets for reduction, and it includes text on recycling and waste management that could allow producers to avoid reduction, undermining the goal of the treaty.
“I’m heartened to see language on cutting plastic production in the zero draft, but there’s still a lot the delegates can build on here to make it stronger,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We won’t even slow down the relentless flood of plastic pollution without making less plastic, and this historic treaty should reflect that reality. We’ll keep pushing the United States to commit to robust mandatory plastic reduction targets at negotiations in Nairobi.”
In June, at the second treaty negotiations in Paris, the Center and many country delegates and groups in attendance as observers expressed support for including mandatory measures to reduce plastic production. Participants also called for prohibiting false solutions often suggested by industry representatives, such as “chemical” or “advanced” recycling misleadingly labelled “circular.”
The U.S. delegation in Paris was instrumental in resolving initial procedural debates at the INC-2 negotiations. Its diplomacy helped move the negotiations into core discussions on the treaty’s potential contents. In the latter part of the week, delegates split into two groups to begin working out the treaty’s core elements, including obligations, financial mechanisms and other implementation measures.
But the United States stopped short of supporting any mandatory measures that will directly reduce plastic production and consumption and focused almost exclusively on voluntary measures and measures left to national definition. The U.S. delegation has not yet given an indication of the positions it will take at INC-3.
Negotiations at INC-2 were also marred by complaints from stakeholder groups about limited access to sessions and calls to give Indigenous Peoples and frontline and fenceline communities a bigger and more meaningful platform.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.