Towards a Treaty to End Plastic Pollution

Plastic bottles in the sea
© Global Warming Images / WWF

The first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) meeting, INC-1, took place 28. November - 2. December 2022 in Uruguay.  INC-2 took place in Paris, 29 May - 2 June 2023. With INC-3 in Nairobi, 13-19 November 2023.

Currently, more than 11 million metric tons of plastic are flowing into the ocean each year. Plastic waste has been found in all areas of the globe, from the deepest seas to the most remote mountains. It causes harm to wildlife and ecosystems, but also disrupts the livelihood of millions of people, as well as posing major risk to human health and the world economy.

Despite the exponential growth in voluntary initiatives and national regulations to tackle plastic pollution, there is no sign that leakage rates are slowing. In order to effectively deal with the plastic crisis, the world needs common rules and standards that address plastic throughout its entire lifecycle. 

A framework for global plastics treaty is being negotiated throughout a series of meetings across the globe, and is expected to be in place by the end of 2024.

WWF’s report "Towards a Treaty to End Plastic Pollution: Global rules to solve a global problem" outlines what the new plastics treaty must include to address the problem. Otherwise, we risk perpetuating the plastic pollution crisis.

Our second report "Putting an end to plastic pollution: WWF's call to urgently regulate high-risk plastic products", identifies the most damaging plastic products polluting the environment and proposing global control measures needed to eliminate, reduce, or safely manage and circulate these plastics.

"Who pays for plastic pollution? Enabling global equity in the plastic value chain", the report released ahead of INC-3 looks at the high cost of production, disposal and pollution on our environment, health and economy and how unevenly these are distributed. Despite consuming almost three times less plastic per capita than high income countries, the true cost of plastic is eight times higher in low- and middle-income countries.