Global businesses across the plastics value chain, financial institutions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) came together to announce a common vision for an effective and ambitious Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution. The vision will form the basis for future policy engagements with governments through a newly launched Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty which will be convened by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF.
Building on previous efforts to raise the business voice in favor of starting intergovernmental negotiations, the organizations standing behind the vision see the global treaty as the single most important opportunity to accelerate progress towards a circular economy in which plastic never becomes waste or pollution, and the value of products and materials is retained in the economy. The treaty negotiation process, which is expected to conclude at the end of 2024, will largely determine the trajectory of the plastic pollution crisis for generations to come.
“The plastic crisis extends beyond all borders, impacting the health of our oceans and wildlife, and the livelihoods of people from major cities to small coastal communities. The scope and scale of this global issue must be met with equally ambitious solutions,” said Erin Simon, Vice President and Head of Plastic Waste and Business, WWF. “We have no time to waste. The need for global coordination to tackle the plastic pollution crisis has never been more urgent, a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty will push strongly for a framework that leaves the business-as-usual approach at the door and ushers us into a new era where ending plastic pollution is finally within reach.”
Ahead of the first Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee (INC) meeting scheduled for the end of November this year, the endorsing organizations are calling out the need for a global treaty that sets common goals, rules, and obligations that member states will be required to implement within their national jurisdictions. For businesses and investors, this means creating a level playing field and preventing a patchwork of disconnected solutions.
In a strong signal of their ambition for the negotiation process, the endorsing organizations agree that the treaty must support progress on a number of key outcomes including the reduction of plastic production and use through a circular economy approach, increased circulation of necessary plastic, and the prevention and remediation of hard-to-abate micro- and macro-plastic leakage into the environment. The list of organizations endorsing the common vision highlights the high level of agreement between businesses across the plastics value chain and supporting organizations on the need to define a comprehensive and coordinated set of upstream and downstream policy measures that help achieve our desired global outcomes and are adaptable to local conditions.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF will convene organizations aligned with this vision to develop ambitious policy recommendations, engage with treaty negotiators, and build confidence in the business community on the benefits and necessity of an effective global plastics treaty.
“Many companies and countries are already taking important steps to address plastic pollution, but voluntary action alone cannot reach the scale we need to urgently solve this crisis. An ambitious global plastics treaty is required. That is why today we are announcing, in partnership with WWF, plans to form a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty. This coalition will bring together businesses from across the plastics value chain to support the development of an ambitious and effective treaty – one that accelerates the transition to a circular economy and ensures the value of products and materials is not lost but retained. Plastic can no longer be allowed to become waste or pollution.” – said Rob Opsomer, Executive Lead – Systemic Initiatives, Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The organizations endorsing the common vision for a global plastics treaty are committed to working closely with governments to raise the bar of ambition in the negotiation process and are calling for more businesses from across the plastic value chain to engage in the development of a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty.