The U.N. is Negotiating a Treaty that Could Solve the Plastic Problem. Here's What You Need to Know.
175 countries are currently negotiating a legally-binding, international treaty on plastic pollution that could change the world. It's a big deal.
But at the same time, the question remains whether this treaty will be strong enough, or if certain countries or companies will derail the progress that could be achieved.
Some countries and companies say they want an ambitious treaty, but when you actually look into the details, they aren’t pushing for meaningful solutions.
For example, the US wants the “legally-binding” part of the treaty to be that each nation has a plan of action. But, that’s like letting students choose their own homework and grade it too.
Meanwhile, chemical and plastics corporations are actively lobbying for weaker treaty terms. At first, they were opposed to plastic regulations. But that hurt their reputation and their bottom line. So now, they're playing along, making sustainability claims and trying to weaken solutions from the inside. They keep pushing for weaker, flexible treaty terms that focus on waste management instead of reducing plastic at the source.
We can’t expect the companies that created the problem to help solve it. And we can’t let this treaty leave room for industry greenwashing and lack of real progress.
We know the plastics problem is major. We’re up against something bigger than any one individual or organization or legislator or business leader can take on alone.
So we’re teaming up with allies and organizations around the world to demand a strong treaty that ambitiously tackles plastic pollution. We’ll be delivering this petition to world leaders and delegates before the next round of negotiations at INC-2 (Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee) in late May and early June.
We need governments worldwide to step up to this historic opportunity by listening to the people. This is going to be a heavy lift. Big Oil and Big Plastic won’t go quietly. But we’re ready to rally, alongside friends from around the globe. Are you?
No matter how you’re tackling the plastics problem, we need you.
To: World leaders, delegates and representatives at INC-2
From: [Your Name]
As global citizens from around the world, we are calling on you to pass a strong international treaty on plastic pollution.
We need a treaty that:
- Is legally binding and has deadlines to cap and reduce plastic production, accelerating the transition away from single-use plastics and towards reuse and refill.
- Prioritizes the health, livelihoods and expertise of frontline workers and communities across the plastics' life cycle.
- Rejects false solutions like waste incineration, chemical “recycling”, waste-to-energy, international dumping and other industry-supported, greenwashing efforts to continue business-as-usual plastic production.
- Include provisions that hold polluting corporations and plastic producing countries accountable.
Please protect the health of our people and our planet. The citizens of the earth demand it.