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Australian government must ensure strong action at home as historic negotiations on global plastic treaty move forward

plastics_image.jpg5 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 
  • Australian government active as part of ‘high-ambition coalition’ for the binding treaty with over 50 other countries
  • 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 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.


“While the Australian government played a productive role at global plastic negotiations in Paris, we need more than just  words. It is time for action at home, which starts with reversing the recent waste export exceptions and challenging the idea that we can recycle our way out of this mess. To live up to global obligations Australia must start to reduce our plastic consumption and stop exporting our waste to our neighbours.” Sam Cossar, Friends of the Earth International, Economic Justice-Resisting Neoliberalism


"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"  said Hemantha Withanage Chair of the Friends of the Earth International.


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,” said Mageswari Sangaralingam, Friends of the Earth Malaysia/Sahabat Alam Malaysia.


For further comment please contact

Hemantha Withanage, Chair, Friends of the Earth International
email: [email protected] WhatsApp +94777600503

Sam Cossar: [email protected],  WhatsApp +61413496570

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