Our vision is a world free of plastic pollution.
In March 2022, the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) adopted resolution 5/14 “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an International Legally Binding Instrument”, convening an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) to develop a new global agreement combatting plastic pollution, otherwise known as a new plastics treaty.
As an organisation based in the UK, we have been looking to our national Government for leadership on this issue and, fortunately, the UK has emerged as an active player in the international arena, initially co-sponsoring the UNEA resolution upon which 5/14 was based and then joining the High Ambition Coalition, a group of countries committed to developing the best possible agreement, including a goal of ending plastic pollution by 2040. We hope to see continued aspirational and engaged leadership throughout the process.
Whatever form the eventual agreement takes, it is clear that, at the global level, there are certain principles that must be agreed, including setting controls on virgin plastic production, agreeing restrictions for the most hazardous and problematic polymers, establishing clear criteria for eco-design and product standards, agreed methodologies for monitoring and reporting on plastic and plastic pollution and, critically, stable and predictable financing to ensure developing countries and economies in transition are able to meet the obligations of the agreement.
This timely new report should act as the catalyst for an ambitious and robust national policy agenda that responds to the urgency now recognised on the global stage. With the benefit of being actively involved in the negotiations, the UK is perfectly positioned to establish a blueprint for effective domestic action which focuses on prevention, safe and non-toxic circularity for plastics, mandatory monitoring and reporting and clear targets for reduction.