SustainabilityGLOBAL PLASTIC TREATY ON PLASTIC POLLUTION WHAT IS IT FOR THE PLASTIC...

GLOBAL PLASTIC TREATY ON PLASTIC POLLUTION WHAT IS IT FOR THE PLASTIC INDUSTRY….?

In February 2022, at the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2), a historic resolution (5/14) was adopted to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment with the ambition to complete the negotiations by end of 2024 The instrument is to be based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastics

The  ILBI  is an – International Legally Bound Instrument on Plastic Waste Countries at UNEA.  The features of ILBI are-

  1. Emphasis on need for coordination between governments, environmental organizations, industry leaders, and civil society.
  2. Agree with the need for a global approach to addressing the challenge through the ILBI
  3. Support an agreement that would develop harmonized definitions and reporting metrics on plastic waste with industry input.
  4. Such an agreement should also establish mechanisms for technical and financial support to bolster innovation in waste management, global recycling efforts, and the creation of a circular economy.
  5. Agreement provides a basis for reducing operational complexity and compliance risk through standardization
  6. Nonetheless, important to be flexible, inclusive and take into account varying national circumstances and local contexts when it comes to solutions ILBI –( International Legally Bound Instrument)

The first session of the INTER GOVERNMENTAL NEGOTIATING  COMMITTEE (INC) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, took place in the Punta del Este Convention and Exhibition Centre from 28 November to 2 December.2022 in Uruguay.

The second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-2) took place  from 29 May to 2 June 2023 at the  UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.  The gathering saw attendance from 169 countries and the EU, and over 300 observer organizations

The third session (INC-3) will be held in November 2023 at the UN Environment Programme Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

On the final day at INC2   an informal group had to be convened to address the details of the inter-sessional period to prepare for INC-3.

Delegates decided to mandate the Secretariat to prepare a Committee-driven zero-draft, to clearly reflect differing views on various elements associated with the plastic lifecycle. These include, among others, identifying o ptions on definitions and criteria along the plastic supply chain, including on problematic and avoidable plastic polymers and products, design for circularity, substitutes and alternatives, releases and emissions, and addressing means of implementation.

Additionally, delegates requested the Secretariat to draft a synthesis report to take into account elements that had not been included in the options paper considered at INC-2, such as principles and scope. In an unusual move, however, delegates also scheduled a one-day meeting before INC-3 to review the synthesis report and determine if it adequately reflects all submissions received. All in all, this decision was met with relief, and left delegates more confident that the INC process withstood the stress test and was “back on track.”

French essayist Roland Barthes once wrote, “More than a substance, plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation.” And INC-2 did transform. This meeting was—at least at one point—on the brink of chaos, stretching beyond its limits. But, thanks to the commitment of delegates, both procedural and substantive discussions remained intact, and the INC withstood the pressure.

CONCLUSION- The path ahead for a Global Plastic Treaty is full of challenges as well as opportunities, but at the end one has to work to find solution to plastic pollution

 SAMEER JOSHI, Phd SHARANG AMBADKAR

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