- Latest round of UN Global Plastics Treaty negotiations begins in Nairobi
- Consensus gained amongst UN delegates, industry and NGO organisations on need for comprehensive mitigation framework
Leaders of global industry, NGOs and UN delegates have united in calling for a global policy framework that would address all stages of the plastic lifecycle.
Consensus was gained on the need for corporate targets that are transparent, robust, and actionable at an event in Nairobi, hosted by WBCSD, South Pole, EA Earth Action and TakaTaka Solutions. This comes as international negotiators gather at INC-3 in Nairobi to draft an internationally binding treaty on plastic pollution.
The high-level discussion was attended by the IFC-World Bank, World Economic Forum and UN delegates from Switzerland, Peru, Kenya and the USA. Attendees of 'Scaling Local Solutions to Plastic Pollution' experienced first hand in a tour of TakaTaka Solutions how plastic pollution could be properly managed in the Global South.
Whilst a future UN treaty is likely to set parameters for plastic pollution mitigation at a state level, attendees set out to align on how corporate plastic targets can mirror those of governments and support local solutions such as TakaTaka Solutions. Members of the Peruvian delegation to INC3 emphasised the similarities between the South American nation and Kenya, both being in need of vital investment in circular infrastructure to scale capacity.
Dr. Ayub Macharia, Director at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Kenyan Government discussed how private sector support for mandating an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme in the country was encouraging but stated the need for high quality data on plastic. Companies in the plastic value chain play a crucial role in supporting states as they have the data needed to address the full lifecycle of plastics and support investment in circular forms of waste management globally.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development emphasised that global industry alignment on target setting and reporting of plastic data is currently lacking. Data is needed to translate treaty targets into investment in circular infrastructure, especially on models that avoid the creation of waste. This was stated by the Plastic Footprint Network at the event.
The network is made up of 35 global organisations including EA Earth Action, South Pole, WBCSD, the Ellen MacArthur and WWF. It has urged for mandatory disclosure to be incorporated in the proposed treaty, centralising data from corporates and states by using the plastic footprint methodology.
The Network argued that the adoption of corporate plastic targets in a future treaty, that utilises policy tools such as EPR and mandatory disclosure, would help mitigate fears from corporations around accusations of greenwashing. It would also provide clear targets for organisations to meet instead of piecemeal voluntary measures.
Sarah Perreard, Co-CEO, EA Earth Action & the Plastic Footprint Network said: "After decades of scientific evidence documenting the impact of plastic pollution on the planet and humankind alike, this discussion represented the importance of public and private collaboration in working towards an effective solution to this crisis."
"A future UN treaty on plastic should set mandatory targets that are transparent, robust, as part of an accountability framework that provides transparent strategic guidelines for corporate action with the highest pollution mitigation potential."
Quentin Drewell, Director, Products and Materials, WBCSD: "The UN Global Plastics Treaty is likely to set parameters for national level plastic pollution mitigation, but a framework translating these goals to corporate targets is missing. The creation of 'a plastics protocol' - a global standard for plastic accounting - is critical for companies to manage performance and translate treaty targets into circular economy investment."
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