12 Oct 2023

Venue: International Environment House II & Online | Webex

Organization: Geneva Environment Network

This briefing on the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-3) taking place from 13 to 19 November 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya, is held within the framework of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues.

About this Event

The United Nations Environment Assembly made history in March 2022, by adopting a resolution setting up the path to a global treaty to end plastic pollution. The resolution requests the convening of an intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, during the second half of 2022, with the ambition of completing its work by the end of 2024.

Rather than the end of the journey, this resolution represents a new turning point, from which much work still has to be done. Through the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, the Geneva Environment Network and its partners support actors in the Geneva community and beyond, engaged in this process.

The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-3) will take place from 13 to 19 November 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya. It will build on the zero draft text of the instrument developed by the Chair of the process, H.E. Amb. Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, with the support of the secretariat, to advance the development of the instrument, taking into account elements not discussed at the second session as identified by stakeholders and members’ submissions. The session will also be instrumental in considering and deciding on intersessional work required for the fourth and fifth sessions of the committee that will take place in 2024.

The briefing, organized within the framework of the Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues, will provide updates on the preparations for the INC-3 session. It will also highlight and make connections with efforts by International Geneva’s actors that have contributed to raising momentum during the intersessional period. These include the recently adopted New Global Framework on Chemicals for a Planet Free of Harm from Chemicals and Waste, the International Labour Organization’s recent report on Hazardous exposures to plastics in the world of work, and the launch of the World Health Organization’s dialogue series on health and plastics in the run-up to INC-3.

Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues

The world is facing a plastic crisis, the status quo is not an option. Plastic pollution is a serious issue of global concern which requires an urgent and international response involving all relevant actors at different levels. Many initiatives, projects and governance responses and options have been developed to tackle this major environmental problem, but we are still unable to cope with the amount of plastic we generate. In addition, there is a lack of coordination which can better lead to a more effective and efficient response.

Various actors in Geneva are engaged in rethinking the way we manufacture, use, trade and manage plastics. The Geneva Beat Plastic Pollution Dialogues aim at outreaching and creating synergies among these actors, highlighting efforts made by intergovernmental organizations, governments, businesses, the scientific community, civil society and individuals in the hope of informing and creating synergies and coordinated actions. The dialogues highlight what the different stakeholders in Geneva and beyond have achieved at all levels, present the latest research and governance options.

Following the landmark resolution adopted at UNEA-5 to end plastic pollution and building on the outcomes of the first two series, the third series of dialogues will encourage increased engagement of the Geneva community with future negotiations on the matter. These include the meetings of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee from the second half of 2022 to 2024, as well as preparatory meetings within the ad-hoc open-ended working group during the first half of 2022. The series also continues to foster stronger cooperation and coordinated actions ahead of other milestones in the environmental agenda, including the BRS COPs, SAICM ICCM5, the UN Ocean Conference, UNEA-6 and other processes in Geneva, such as at the WTO.


By order of intervention.

H.E. Amb. Gustavo MEZA-CUADRA

Chair, INC Plastic Pollution | Peru


Executive Secretary, INC Plastic Pollution Secretariat

Jacqueline ALVAREZ

Head, Chemicals and Health Branch, UNEP

Manal AZZI

Team Lead on Occupational Safety and Health, International Labour Organization

Lesley ONYON

Head, Chemical Safety and Health Unit, World Health Organization


Policy Manager, Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty Secretariat


Associate Researcher, CONICET | Member of the Scientists' Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty


Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP

Griffins OCHIENG

Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice and Development | Co-chair, IPEN Toxic Plastic Working Group

H.E. Amb. Colin MURDOCH

Permanent Observer of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to the United Nations Office at Geneva | Moderator


H.E. Amb. Colin MURDOCH | Permanent Observer of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States to the United Nations Office at Geneva | Moderator

  • As we prepare for the third session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop an internationally legally binding instrument on plastic pollution (INC-3), this webinar aims to highlight recent findings, developments, perspectives and expectations of stakeholders from Geneva and abroad.
  • The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), a group of small island states in the Eastern Caribbean and other small islands developing states SIDS has been engaged in this process since its inception, including with one of OECS member states – Antigua and Barbuda- sitting on the INC Bureau representing SIDS.
  • SIDS have repeatedly said we have no time to waste, and we look forward to meeting with member states and other stakeholders in a few weeks in Nairobi to get to work in drafting this new agreement. We are looking forward to an ambitious agreement from the start, comprehensive across the whole life cycle of plastic and one that becomes more robust over time with corresponding means of implementation.
  • OECS member states will be constructive and ambitious partners in these negotiations, reminding states of the need for urgent action.

H.E. Amb. Gustavo MEZA-CUADRA | Chair, INC Plastic Pollution | Peru

  • INC-3 will be a turning point in the plastics treaty negotiations as it represents the halfway mark of the negotiation process and the first time discussions will be based on the text of the zero-draft (UNEP/PP/INC.3/4). INC-2 mandated the Chair to prepare the zero-draft text with the support of the Secretariat for the consideration of the committee in its third session.
  • The zero-draft text was released on 4 September 2023, and it is now available in all UN languages. The views expressed by members guide the text and the zero draft systematizes them in legal language, including through the use of options. The document is composed of five sections, only three of which are fully developed: control measures, means of implementation and implementation measures. The remaining sections are set as placeholders.
  • Proposed control measures are broadly structured around the life cycle of plastics and plastic products, with the aim of collectively addressing plastic pollution by promoting the sustainable production and consumption of plastics, through, among other measures, a regulation of the production and use of plastics and plastic products; the promotion of a circular economy and the development of safe and environmentally sound waste management systems. These measures are complemented by other cross-cutting provisions, covering mitigation and remediation of existing plastic pollution labeling measures and a just transition for all, especially vulnerable populations as recyclers.
  • The means of implementation section covers financing, technology transfer, and capacity development. This section is instrumental in ensuring that we give ourselves the necessary means to implement the agreement.
  • The implementation measures part of the zero-draft covers proposals for national plans and measures to ensure transparency as well as awareness-raising, international cooperation mechanisms, and commitments with the private sector through the action agenda.

Organization of Work at INC-3 and Expected Outcomes

  • The sessions will commence with a preparatory meeting on 11 November 2023 to cover issues not addressed at INC-2 and intersessional work.
  • Following the preparatory meeting and the regional consultations (12 November 2023), the official meeting will start on 13 November with an opening plenary, moving as swiftly as possible to the substantial work through three connected contact groups. Contact group 1 will focus on the objective and the control measures, contact group 2 on the means of implementation and implementation measures and contact group 3 will discuss issues not covered at INC-2 and intersessional work.
  • In our discussions, I hope members will be able to converge around certain options while providing inputs on how to improve the text, merge certain options or add or remove some provisions, while on the issues not discussed at INC-2 we hope members will identify the issues to be addressed in the placeholder of the zero draft and the modality on how to include these. Members are also expected to deliberate on the necessary intersessional work ahead of INC-4 and INC-5.
  • As we prepare to finalize the negotiations on the instrument by the end of 2024, it will be essential that we come out of Nairobi with progress on the substantial matters that will allow the development of the upcoming version of the instrument as well as a robust mandate for intersessional work.
  • We must ensure INC-3 is the steppingstone that we need to deliver an essential instrument to our planet our health and our livelihoods.

Update on Preparations for INC-3
Jyoti MATHUR-FILIPP | Executive Secretary, INC Plastic Pollution Secretariat

  • The INC Process for the Plastics Treaty is supposed to conclude in 2024, meaning we are in the middle of this process, making INC-3 a key session as the first one we the zero-draft will be discussed.

INC-1 and INC-2 Outcomes

Expected Participation:
Registration to participate in INC-3 closed on 6 October 2023 and amounts to 644 delegates from 151 Members of the Committee and 921 participants from 385 observer organizations duly registered for INC-3.

Preparatory Meeting

  • The third session of the INC will be proceeded by regional consultations on 12 November and a preparatory meeting on 11 November.
  • The 11 November 2023 preparatory meeting will consider the synthesis report, a document in development by the Secretariat based on submissions by Member States and observers. The synthesis report will summarize submissions, including on principles and the scope of the instrument and issues that have not yet been discussed by the INC. The document is expected to be ready two weeks before the preparatory meeting in English and in all other UN English a few days before the meeting.
  • The Preparatory day will contribute to the work of INC-3 with the Chair inviting the co-facilitators to present a summary of the discussions when we open agenda item four. Co- facilitator summaries will be uploaded on the website and this item will be taken up under a contact group which will be uh constituted it is the proposal of the chair that we constitute a contact group on these issues. INC-3 participants will be invited to start negotiations based on the zero-draft text through the proposed modalities available in the scenario note (UNEP/PP/INC.3/2 Advance).


  • During INC-3, 12 thematic side events will be organized. Considering the number of requests for organizing side events at INC-2, no open call was launched for this session and priority was given to those who expressed their interested in the previous session.
  • Events will take place from Tuesday to Friday from 13:30 to 14:45 Nairobi time, with three events occurring at the same time. Events will be in English only and there will be no simultaneous translation provided. Themes and dates of each side event

Regional Consultations and Thematic Webinars

The main objective of the consultations is to ensure member states consult and talk with each other on how to advance their work on the third session of the INC. To this purpose, the Secretariat has hosted a series of information webinars since August. All recordings and presentations are available online.

  • We hope the Nairobi spirit will be in full force during INC-3, as it is the very spirit that allowed the resolution to be adopted at UNEA-5 in March 2022. Hopefully, it will enable us to come out of INC-3 with the mandate for the chair to develop a first draft of the agreement, a complete text of the instrument that builds on the zero draft, synthesis report and the content of INC-3 discussions.
  • We also hope that the committee will have defined the modalities and timelines for intersessional work for the fourth and fifth sessions of the INC and adopt the provisional agenda to the fourth session.

Stakeholders Perspectives 

New Global Framework on Chemicals for a Planet Free of Harm from Chemicals and Waste
Jacqueline ALVAREZ | Head, Chemicals and Health Branch, UNEP


  • A planet free of harm from chemicals and waste” is the vision that was adopted at the Fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5) in Bonn, Germany at the end of September.
  • We have the world on our hands and to safeguard it from the harm of chemicals and waste is a huge responsibility and challenge but also a great opportunity.
  • The world is confronted with a triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and chemical and pollution waste. While the first two crises already have a framework to address them, the third was agreed only last September in Bonn. This will allow the international community to address them, and the chemical and waste pillar will soon benefit from the establishment of a science-policy panel.
  • The global framework pivots around three main elements: the global framework, a Bonn declaration, and a chemicals fund.
  • The Bonn Declaration shows the high ambition and the importance of this agenda in the context of the 21st century, recognizing for example loss of GDP related to pollution, which goes up to 10% or higher at times, and talks about social well-being, human rights, development and the sustainable development agenda.
  • The new framework is a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder effort that requires a whole of society engagement. It was negotiated not only by governments but also by the different stakeholders NGS, IGOs, private sector, academia, and youth. ICCM5 hosted a Youth Forum where youth representatives made their own declaration committing to a pollution-free planet.
  • ICCM5 achieved five strategic objectives and twenty-eight targets to be reached by 2030 or 2035. The objectives stress the importance of strengthening the national capacities of the basic chemicals agenda, of data and information to allow informed decision-making. The framework also deals with issues of concern and the methodology to adopt them.While the conversations about chemical safety, management and innovation have been long going, right now those possibilities exist.
  • One of the objectives that was also adopted refers specifically to safer alternatives, innovation and sustainable solutions, it talks about value chains, and different sectors that are part of this community. Chemicals are not a product that you put on your textiles or in medicine, they are much more than that and to really be addressing the topic in a comprehensive and holistic manner, we must find other solutions and ways of doing things.
  • The last strategic objective of the framework discusses means of implementation, which entails resources, partnerships, cooperation, and capacity-building.
  • Among the various targets, one focuses on notifying, regulating, or prohibiting export of chemicals that are prohibited in countries of origin. These relate to highly hazardous pesticides that affect food production, health implications for people and for the workers and it talks about sustainable chemistry, chemicals and waste management strategies.
  • Target E6 regards how this framework relates to the climate, human rights, health, and biodiversity conservation agendas. We are living in an interconnected world where addressing one topic can help address others. Unless we do this in a systemic manner, we will never achieve the objectives of the framework.

  • The Framework confirms an integrated approach to financing: mainstreaming, private sectorfinancing, and dedicated external financing. A Global Framework for Chemicals Fund, be managed by UNEP, with already announced contributions from Germany and France and indications from private sector.

Hazardous Exposures to Plastics in the World of Work
Manal AZZI | Team Lead on Occupational Safety and Health, International Labour Organization

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) has been involved in this discussion from different angles, including in the negotiations for the ICCM5 outcomes.
  • The newly adopted framework and the negotiations for the plastics treaty are very much linked. While we worked continuously throughout these years for a chemicals framework, one of the aims was also to ensure that chemical issues were not managed by a single actor but in a concerted manner.
  • The world of work and labor is an important actor. Representatives of workers and the labor world in general, governments, and ministries of labor play a key role in ensuring the advancement of the objectives of this particular framework as well as the plastics’.
  • Chemicals are an important component of plastics, often in their hazardous form. Workers are exposed to these hazardous chemicals in plastics throughout their life cycle. This is strongly linked to health impacts, such as cancers, birth defects, and impairments in the immune, endocrine and reproductive systems.
  • We must frame the scope of the problem and those affected by it so that the treaty targets and provides necessary protections for the most exposed people.
  • Workers are at a very high risk because of the higher concentrations of exposure over long periods of time.
    The health situation is also aggravated by long diagnostic processes, making it hard to distinguish their effects and sometimes these are not covered by the global burden of disease and its measures.
  • Workers are spread across various industries, and they are exposed to plastics daily and throughout the life cycle during the extraction of fossil fuels, the production of plastics, disposal, recycling, and incineration.
  • While exposure is a terrible condition, working conditions are aggravating them. Workers who are working in these highly hazardous sectors are in the informal economy and have little to no protection whatsoever.

Chemicals Additives

  • Plastics do not exist without chemical additives. These are the cause of exposure for many workers. Examples of chemical additives include fates bisphenol lead and many others that can easily leak out of plastics due to normal use but also in landfills and improper disposal measures.
  • Hazardous chemical additives have been associated with serious health concerns such as cancers, immune reproductive system damage, impaired intellectual functions, and development delays. Despite existing international regulations, these dangerous additives are still being used in plastics.

Workers Exposure during Waste Picking

  • This situation is riddled with challenging physical conditions, health hazards, and minimal job protections. It is estimated that worldwide waste pickers collect 58% of plastics, contributing significantly to supplying the value chain and avoiding plastic pollution.
  • While they work to improve plastics recycling for the environment, waste pickers are exposed to health risks through waste collection, transportation, plastics sorting, plastics heating and melting of plastics, which generates fumes. Open burning of plastics threatens particularly waste pickers through the inhalation of contaminated air and direct contact with contaminated soil and water or via ingestion of contaminated food.
  • Female waste pickers often suffer even worse health outcomes, including a greater prevalence of hypertension, bronchitis and diarrhea. There is a negative reproductive health effect from exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The recent ILO Global overview on various chemicals and exposures of workers sheds light on these exposures and their relations with certain health outcomes.

ILO Recommendations for the INC Process and Plastics Treaty

  • We need an integrated approach where chemicals in plastics may bring new risks to the safety and health of workers. The treaty may wish to highlight priority actions to protect workers from these chemical exposures and can call effectively for the implementation both at the national policy and workplace levels with a strong foundation of social dialogue.
  • The way we ensure that this works across all economic activities, industries and labor sectors is that we ensure the participation of workers themselves their representatives but also employers and governments such as ministries of labor and social affairs need to be on the table to negotiate commitments to ensure their implementation at all levels. It is not enough to have international frameworks, policies and measures must be implemented at the ground level.
  • The principle of prevention should be at the heart of the process and so an integrated Occupational Safety and Health System (OSH) with its already designed criteria should be applied to plastics management. The treaty can require evidence to be matched to the policy initiatives that are being suggested and integrate environmental objectives with labor-related objectives. This link is currently missing in the zero draft, but there is potential to improve in this direction.
  • It is important to recall instruments and texts already legally adopted by governments. This includes the international labor standards and conventions directly useful for the discussion around plastics and particularly. Various basic safety and health conventions already have legal requirements and provisions that call for protections, prevention and control measures, risk assessment measures that can be applied to plastic production and waste management across the life cycle.

  • In the coming years, the ILO will be negotiating a global new protocol on chemicals that will be linked to the current Convention 170 on chemicals this protocol can highlight the progress of discussions about this treaty. Plastics in the chemical framework and other high-level issues of concern in chemicals and beyond.
  • We must build on existing language adopted for instance for the preamble of ILO Convention C170, which calls on the prevention and the need to reduce the incidence of chemically induced illnesses and injuries by ensuring that all chemicals are evaluated to determine their hazard. The C170 stresses the importance of transparency, labeling and evaluation of the level of risk due to certain hazardous chemicals and this needs to be reflected in the treaty.
  • The Basel, Rotterdam, Stockholm Convention report Chemicals in Plastics shows there is a lack of data on 46% of chemicals used in plastics. Workers and the global public have no knowledge of the chemicals that already exist in plastics. There should be protection and control measures clearly specified in the treaty, providing employers with a mechanism to obtain information about the chemicals used at work from suppliers so that they can implement effective programs to protect workers.
  • These are protections already existing in the ILO chemical convention, which contains requirements on providing workers with information about chemicals. While we know very little about some of the highly hazardous chemicals in plastics, this problem needs to be addressed with increased and clearer data.
  • Convention 170 has very clear identification, classification, labeling and safety data sheet recommendations and requirements on exposure and operational control. The absence so far on practical measures for the control of worker exposures in the treaty must be included considering the language from C170 that has these general principles and requirements for protection.
  • ILO occupational safety and health fundamental conventions C155 and C187 call for a broader systemic approach to the management of safety and health, improving national systems and institutions in the management of chemicals and plastics.
  • We must look at already existing legally binding instruments and ensure these are reflected in the negotiated plastics treaty.

Lesley ONYON | Head, Chemical Safety and Health Unit, World Health Organization

  • WHO is supporting the plastics treaty negotiations as highlighted in its submissions (Part A | Part B) by actively building a dialogue within and between the health sector and other sectors that have a strong interest in health.
  • WHO submission ahead of INC-3 affirms the treaty should address the full range of health issues associated with plastic production, use, and disposal. We support an ambitious treaty looking at all stages of the life cycle and believe the treaty must be flexible to take into account new information and developments in science that may arise over the years.
  • WHO strongly advocates that there are a number of mutual health benefits to an overall reduction in the use of plastics and tackling the hazards at all stages of the plastics life cycle. Being able to address concurrent and related issues such as those related to climate can bring joint benefits.
  • The mutual benefits WHO advocates for go far beyond recognizing the potential harm from micro and nanoplastics in food, drinking water and our bodies and beyond recognizing that there can be problematic chemicals used in the manufacturing of certain plastics.
  • Protection of health under the new must be an obligation and a priority in all decisions and actions of the treaty. WHO proposed in its submission a number of ways in which this could be achieved and looks forward to discussing those further in Nairobi.
  • WHO also calls for the consideration of health benefits, particularly affordable access to health products, including medicines and medicinal devices which themselves use a lot of plastic materials. We would like to support the health sector in reducing the number of plastics that it uses and recognize there are considerable cost benefits there for the functioning of health systems as well as protecting from human health impacts, but we also have a caution that in some cases that when we consider the risk-benefit balance some of these materials will be needed slightly longer lifetime until alternative replacements can be made available.
  • We argue particularly for the consideration of health in the exchange of information with WHO health experts in relation to each obligation in the treaty.
  • Treaty obligations must take into account relevant ongoing WHO normative and standard-setting processes, relevant decisions and resolutions of WHO governing bodies to ensure that the treaty functions are coherent and not duplicative of ongoing work.
  • As we approach INC-3, WHO has been encouraged by the growing interest in the plastics treaty by ministries of health and this resulted in the World Health Assembly resolution  (A76/A/CONF./2) in May 2023 calling for a strong engagement by ministries of health in the treaty negotiation process.
  • WHO is supporting such engagement with a newly launched Health and Plastics Dialogue Series.

Ambrogio MISEROCCHI | Policy Manager, Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty Secretariat

  • The Business Coalition for an Ambitious Plastics Treaty was created with the sole purpose of following the treaty negotiations and putting together a vision for a circular economy in which plastics never become waste or pollution and the value of products and materials is retained in the economy.
  • To achieve such a vision, there are three global outcomes that Business Coalition members believe are crucial to achieving a circular economy for plastics: reduction of plastic production and use through a circular economy approach; circulation of all plastic items that cannot be eliminated in the first place; and prevention alongside remediation of the remaining part of micro and macroplastic leakage into the environment.
  • The Business Coalition membership has been growing and includes members from across the plastics value chain. This demonstrates the commitment of Business Coalition members toward these negotiations. With various publications since INC-1, including a comprehensive document covering all the policy recommendations of the Business Coalition and pre-INC-3 Submissions.


  • The Business Coalition is in the process of completing the comprehensive assessment of the zero-draft. After a first high-level assessment, the Coalition is finalizing the comprehensive one and in parallel working on policy briefing papers to be used to support negotiators in the negotiation process.
  • Most policy recommendations and the three global outcomes of the Business Coalition are reflected in the zero draft and that means that the existing options and provisions could potentially support progress towards these outcomes.
  • Work to be done to further strengthen the draft legal text and create alignment on the most ambitious option.
  • The final treaty must contain strong and legally binding provisions and measures to really drive the change needed on a global scale. Such treaty would require governments to implement and enforce harmonized regulations over the full life cycle of plastics to prevent a patchwork of disconnected solutions.
  • The zero-draft structure is encouraging and would allow governments to clarify and align on the effective treaty provisions and ensure harmonized regulations over the whole life cycle of plastics. It would enable governments to agree on additional intersessional work to be carried out after INC-3 on critical policy areas and to advance discussions on the development of technical annexes to make sure that the treaty will adopt a start and strengthen approach.

Key policy areas for the Business Coalition:

  1. Chemicals and Polymers of Concern | Some critical elements are included but additional work needs to be carried out, on a criteria or initial list and providing sector-specific considerations for harmonized information disclosure.
  2. Problematic and avoidable plastic products, including packaging.
  3. Reuse options and new delivery models | At the moment reuse, refill and others are currently nested under part 2.5 on product design and performance, however, reuse would require more work on metrics, definitions standards, time frames and more provisions to facilitate the creation of systems and infrastructure for reuse, refill beyond simple guidance on promoting reuse.
  4. Product design and recycling | We need to go beyond the notion of technical recyclability and look at recyclability in practice and at scale to ensure that everything is recycled. There must be a link between the recycling infrastructure and waste management and extended producer responsibility (EPR) to make sure that whatever design for recyclability and circularity is supported by the right infrastructure.
  5. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) | The Business Coalition welcomes a standalone section separated from waste management because EPR is a crucial policy tool but more work is needed to prevent a patchwork of disconnected EPR solutions. Funding must be raised through EPR is fenced and dedicated to the scope is dedicated for.
  6. Waste Management | Business Coalition members urge the adoption of a common framework, strong minimum requirements, a review process, and measures to directly protect and respect the livelihoods, health, labor and human rights of workers along the value of making provisions as effective as possible.

Marina FERNANDEZ | Associate Researcher, CONICET | Member of the Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty

  • The Scientists Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty’s goal is to achieve an effective global plastics treaty centered around evidence-based decision-making based on the best available science.
  • With currently around 2090 members representing about 50 countries, the Coalition is an international network of scientists from different countries and disciplines, across the plastics life cycle we have a robust conflict of interest policy.
  • As stressed in our submissions for INC-3, the Scientists Coalition advocates for assessment criteria of polymers and chemicals associated in plastics and technologies that have this criterion of transparency, safety, sustainability and essentiality and about the dedicated science-policy interface and the future instrument.  We advocate for credibility, a robust conflict of interest policy, legitimacy, broad participation and ownership.
  • The Coalition is currently implementing a systematic approach to analyze the zero draft.
  • The Science Coalition is organized around six working groups dedicated to different aspects of the plastic life cycle:
    1. WG1. Upstream measures and impacts
    2. WG2. Circular Economy
    3. WG3. Polymers, chemicals and products of concern
    4. WG4. Waste management and existing plastics pollution
    5. WG5. Indigenous and Traditional knowledge
    6. WG6. WTO dialogue on plastic pollution (DPP)

Ester JOHANA | Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP

  • Chemical pollution that occurs through plastics represents a health hazard, especially for women, waste pickers, and other people on the frontlines.
  • In its submission on the principle and scope of the instrument, the Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP affirmed that member states should effectively expand the resolution’s scope by defining and differentiating roles and subsidiary bodies to effectively monitor progress, ensure accountability and address specific aspects of the instrument. There is a need to prioritize science-based research and submissions by the scientist coalition ensuring the instrument is grounded in research.
  • A dispute-solution mechanism should be in place to address disputes related to rules of procedure and elements of the instrument such as adopting standard procedure for amendments or considering arbitration.
  • The inclusion of an access that classifies plastic based on various factors such as microplastic and polymers is needed.
  • An effective timeline for intersessional work and corresponding upstream solutions could enhance the instrument’s effectiveness.
  • The structural and procedural considerations are essential for a comprehensive and well-rounded approach to tackling plastic solutions.
  • CYMG advocates for financing mechanisms through private finance and leveraging existing funds which are crucial for successful implementation, as well as the inclusion of more areas of plastic pollution and other related substances in the scope of the instrument.
  • The impact of plastic pollution innovation system anthropocentric approach and environmental justice. General principles like objectivity, interdisciplinarity, transparency, accessibility, flexibility, complementarity, comprehensiveness, capacity building, accountability and multistakeholderism should be reflected in the legally binding instrument.  We believe that the instrument must build on the principles of human rights to a clean healthy and sustainable environment as well as EPR and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities and there are preventive principles and polluters pay principles.

Griffins OCHIENG | Executive Director, Centre for Environmental Justice and Development | Co-chair, IPEN Toxic Plastic Working Group

  • Plastics are made of carbon and chemicals and there is an inherent importance to look at plastics as an issue that affects human health and the environment.
  • IPEN messages for the plastic treaty is based on the understanding of the chemical mixture of chemicals derived from oil and gas. The treaty must address the health impact of plastics, especially its invisible impacts related to chemical additives.
  • Toxic chemicals make plastics incompatible with the circular economy as reusing and recycling plastics that are made of hazardous chemicals, we continue to expose people to harmful chemicals.
  • IPEN has conducted studies, including in Kenya, that has demonstrated the recycling of toxic chemicals in new products through recycling of chemical products in new product through practices such as incineration land filling among others. We advocate for nontoxic circular plastic as many of the materials that were found among consumer products contain chemicals banned under the Stockholm Convention.
  • We welcome the zero-draft mention of polymers and call for creating an obligation to control these chemicals and propose for listing. Annex A contains articles on emissions and releases of plastic throughout the life cycle that seek to control the emission of these substances and the microplastics including also trade in plastics.
  • Many plastic materials are exported particularly to developing countries; thus, it is key that trade is covered in the zero-draft.  In the review of the zero-draft text, we found 81 mentions of chemicals and 15 mentions on human health. There is a missing specific mention of workers’ exposure, which is critical.
  • Another necessary component is the criteria for identifying chemicals that need to be controlled. This can include chemicals and classes of chemicals associated with plastics either as plastic ingredients or processing aids and chemicals that are unintentionally produced during the life cycle. These include persistent organic pollutants (POPs) for which there is no available toxicity data, chemicals that increase barriers to the circularity of plastics, and chemicals for which there is evidence of known or potential adverse effects on human health or to the environment.  These could include endocrine-disrupting chemicals.

Examples of criteria of chemical groups that we fit this criteria are: 

  • A key element already included in the zero-draft is transparency, which will enable traceability for chemical and polymers in individual materials products with a transparent standard and a tagging system. This makes harmonized transparency is fundamental.

Expectations for INC-3



We need a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to get to the end of an agreement. The efforts that many of the presenters are doing are reflected in the zero draft and it is essential to raise elements that have not yet been addressed as these will feed the negotiations at INC-3 and the next version of the agreement text.

H.E. Amb. Colin MURDOCH

What we need is a committee of the whole to ensure the success of INC-3. With all stakeholders on board to contribute their different perspectives we can have a successful plastics treaty negotiations process.



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