The Center’s experts take part in the Second Session of the INC on Plastic Pollution

The Center’s experts take part in the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution under the auspices of UNEP as observers. This time, the participants discussed specific goals and commitments that countries will undertake within the framework of the "Convention on Plastic". The Agreement will become a new legally binding international legal document in the field of environmental protection.

The document development process faces difficulties. The participants have already disagreed at the stage of formulating the purpose of the agreement: some countries with large volumes of plastics production insist that the agreement should only deal with the fight against plastic waste pollution, while countries where the plastic industry does not play a decisive role in the economy insist that it is necessary not only to fight pollution, but also prohibit or minimize the production, use, and trade of plastic.

Moreover, many "anti-plastic" activists draw attention to the fact that cheapness and a large amount of plastic are directly related to subsidies for fossil fuels as the main resource for the production of plastics and polymers. This approach has not found the support of oil producing countries.

Important arguments were made in defense of "useful" plastic, which is an inexpensive and vital material to meet the basic needs of the population, for example, in the field of health and sanitation. Whereas ill-conceived bans, restrictions, or reductions in the production, export, and import of primary plastic polymers carry significant socio-economic risks.

Some disagreements have arisen over some of the terms and provisions used in the preparatory documents, which may form the basis of a future document. Countries are asking for clarifications or exclusions of controversial and opaque terms and provisions.

The disagreements that arose during the discussion of the main purpose of the agreement strengthened in the development of specific commitments. The ICLRC is planning to further elaborate on the topic in a separate post-event analytical publication.