Historic negotiations on global plastic treaty move forward despite attempts from polluting interests to delay

Jun 5, 2023

3 June 2023, Paris

The second round of negotiations for a new global treaty to end plastic pollution has concluded in Paris, France.  After five days of negotiations, important steps forward in the process towards ambitious global action have been made. Key outcomes of the negotiations included;

  • Agreement to develop a zero draft treaty text for future binding treaty on plastics
  • Discussions on the 12 core obligations options for the new plastic treaty 
  • Support by many governments for global measures to reduce plastic production, regulate the waste trade, ensure chemical transparency and ban single-use plastics
  • The third round of negotiations will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November 2023.

Yet there were also a number of concerning developments. Firstly negotiations stalled for almost two days due to the derailing attempt of several plastic-producing interests.  A number of states proposed harmful false solutions to the plastic crisis, including incineration, plastic credits and chemical recycling. And a large number of plastic corporations and associations were present as observers and actively lobbying to weaken the treaty.

“Polluting interests tried to delay and derail global plastic negotiations at the INC2 in Paris. Yet people power and many governments were able to defend and move the treaty process forward. We will continue to demand system change by addressing the whole life cycle of the plastic problem in our home countries and at the next round of negotiations in Nairobi.”
Hemantha Withanage Chair of the Friends of the Earth International

“Civil society groups are united and resolute that qthe plastics treaty is an urgent and necessary solution that addresses part of the converging crisis of climate, biodiversity and chemicals. This treaty will address our human rights to live in a safe environment – free of chemical pollution. We are united with indigenous people, waste pickers, workers, and fenceline communities all fighting for a Just Transition free from plastic pollution.”
Rico Euripidou, Friends of the Earth South Africa/Groundwork

“INC-2 has concluded, and we are eagerly awaiting a strong and ambitious zero draft of the global plastic treaty. To tackle plastic pollution in a systematic and effective manner, the treaty must address efforts to significantly reduce plastic production. We must prevent polluters and fossil fuel interests from hindering or undermining the ambitions of this treaty by relying solely on false solutions such as Waste to Energy (WTE), mechanical recycling and plastic offsetting.”
Abdul Ghofar, Friends of the Earth Indonesia/WALHI

At INC-2, it is clear that vested interests are attempting to sway treaty discussions away from production restrictions and there are those promoting false solutions. It is thus vital that we protect the plastics treaty from corporate greenwash and push for a strong treaty to protect public health and the environment from the harms of plastics throughout its full life cycle, including the elimination of toxic chemicals in plastics.”

Mageswari Sangaralingam, Friends of the Earth Malaysia/Sahabat Alam Malaysia

“At INC2 in Paris many states proposed ambitious measures to address the plastic problem, like a ban on the harmful trade in plastic waste and reducing global production. Yet the plastic industry was also lobbying in the corridors with their false solutions, distractions and delays, only by stamping out corporate capture can we end plastic pollution.”

Sam Cossar, Friends of the Earth International, Economic Justice-Resisting Neoliberalism


For further comment please contact:
Hemantha Withanage, Chair, Friends of the Earth International
Email: hemanthaw@eureka.lk
WhatsApp +94777600503

Sam Cossar, International Program Coordinator, Friends of the Earth International 

Email: sam.cossargilbert@foe.org.au
WhatsApp: +61413496570


Cover photo credit: International Alliance for Waste Pickers