On 26.05.2023 the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment released a Joint Ministerial Statement INC-2 whose points are:
This committee calls for the overarching objective of the treaty to be to end plastic pollution from all sources to protect the environment and human health.
- Reinforcement of commitment to ending plastic pollution by 2040;
- Development of common legally binding obligations and control measures for Parties to the treaty, and to cooperate with stakeholders and other partners to ensure alignment of efforts with the objective and approaches of the treaty, in order to end plastic pollution;
- binding provisions in the treaty to restrain and reduce the production and consumption of primary plastic polymers to sustainable levels;
- binding provisions in the treaty to eliminate and restrict unnecessary, avoidable, or probelamtic plastics, as well as the plastic polymers, chemical constituents and plastic products that are of particular concern due to their adverse effects on the environment and human health, taking into account the precautionary principle and considering their impact on circularity;
- binding provisions in the treaty to increase the safe circularity of plastics in the economy, guided by the waste hierarchy, including by focusing on the reduction of avoidable, unnecessary and problematic plastics, and ensuring that only plastic products adhering to a set of agreed criteria are produced, imported, exported and put on the market, and call for parties to commit to targets in key areas, such as on reduction, repairability, environmentally sound and safe recyclability and reuse, refill systems, and the use of recycled content;
- binding provisions in the treaty to ensure reporting and transparency in production quantites, material, chemical and product composition, traceability and labelling across plastics value chains to provide the production and product information necessary to ensure accountability throughout the value chain.;
- binding provisions in the treaty to prevent plastic waste in the first place and if avoidance is not possible, to manage plastic waste in an environmentally sound and safe manner, consistent with other international instruments;
- binding provisions in the treaty to eliminate the release of plastics, including microplastics, to air, water (both inland and marine) and land, and measures to address specific sources of plastic pollution, including but not limited to microplastics intentionally added in products, the release of plastic pellets and loss of fishing gear, building on other international instruments;
- binding provisions in the treaty for the mobilisation of the means of implementation from all sources that are necessary to deliver action on the ground to end plastic pollution;
- provvision for a remediation of existing plastic pollution, recognizing its disproportionate negative socio-economic and environmental consequences in developing countries, in an environmentally sound manner and in accordance with scientific and evidence-based social, economic and environmental impact assessments and national circumstances, using the best available techniques and environmental practices to avoid exacerbating environmental harm;
- the establishment of a multi-stakeholder action agenda, with a focus on specific sectors, to support the implementation of the treaty, with zero tolerance for greenwashing, as well as to share knowledge, scientific evidence, expertise, and technology, and to mobilize financial resources and align financial flows to support implementation;
- immediate actions to reduce plastic pollution, alongside all stakeholders and other partners, and to take preparatory steps to strengthen domestic policy and approaches, including for national action plans, in anticipation of the treaty.
This framework could pave the way for an increasing plastic taxes in the EU countries and other measures aiming to develop renewable and recycled plastics. Finally, it could be interesting to understand how the mentioned joint statement could support the production of efuels from plastic waste.