World Plastics Council Reaction to Global Plastics Agreement Negotiations in Ottawa

Benny Mermans, Chair of the World Plastics Council, said:

“Progress has been made during INC-4 to streamline the text and establish a much-needed process of intersessional negotiations to maintain momentum before INC-5. However, to finalise an agreement to end plastic pollution much more pragmatism and compromise regarding the scope, focus and process of these negotiations is needed.


Creating a circular plastics system is absolutely key to ending plastic pollution. This is why, at the outset of negotiations in Ottawa, the World Plastics Council emphasised the vital importance of establishing demand signals to incentivise investments in a circular plastics system that can keep beneficial plastics applications in use and keep plastics waste out of the environment.


Although investment priorities will differ from country to country, if governments are serious about ending plastic pollution then we have to focus on how to bring adequate waste management infrastructure to the 3 billion people who do not currently have access to it.


In countries with more established waste management systems, a focus on enabling policy frameworks are needed to ramp up recycling capacity to stop end-of-life plastics entering the environment through landfill or incineration.


By contrast, arbitrary production caps, while superficially attractive, will decrease, rather than increase, the investment and innovation required to create a circular plastics system and end plastic pollution.


Delivering a successful global agreement in the short timeframe is unprecedented and will not be easy. It needs to be approached with urgency as well as ambition. It requires much deeper collaboration to establish a common vision and identify solutions, while building on industry’s technical expertise and that of other relevant stakeholders to ensure the agreement can be implemented effectively and we avoid any negative unintended consequences.”