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UN Global Plastics Treaty: Addressing microplastic risks

The recent negotiation round for the UN Global Plastics Treaty in Ottawa has concluded, but concerns linger as the talks fell short of achieving critical action. Despite advocating for a strong legally-binding treaty, compromises were made, leading to more formal intersessional work. The treaty aims to reduce global plastics production, focusing on materials posing environmental and health risks, while also emphasising the need for improved waste management. However, challenges remain as disagreements persist over key aspects such as operationalising the treaty and establishing global rules, reflecting the strong interests of fossil fuel and chemical industries.

The fourth session of the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC-4) ended without a finalised text for the global plastics treaty. Although discussions addressed crucial areas including problematic plastics, chemicals of concern, and extended producer responsibility, significant differences in opinions among states hindered progress. Despite the consensus on the importance of a consistent global extended producer responsibility system and the necessity for global rules, reaching a conclusive agreement remains elusive.

CIRIA is currently seeking technical and financial support to develop Good practice guidance for risk management of microplastics in soil.


Get in contact for more information:

Joanne Kwan, Senior Research Manager
[email protected]