Plastic Solutions: Global Plastics Pact


The fourth round of talks under the Global Plastics Pact to end the use of plastic ended.

related facts

  • Objective: The talks, now in their fourth round, seek to finalize a legal document by the end of 2024.
  • time limit: This treaty sets deadlines to curb plastic production, ban certain chemicals, and promote recycling.
  • Fresh talks: South Korea in November In 'Busan' Another round of talks is about to take place.

  • Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC)
    • The INC was established to develop this treaty.
      • It started functioning in the second half of the year 2022.
    • The committee aims to complete all stages of negotiations by the end of 2024.
  • Many sessions have been completed
    • INC-1: 'Punta del Este', held in (Punta del Este) Uruguay (November 28 to December 2, 2022).
    • INC-2: Held in Paris, France (May 29 to June 2, 2023).
    • INC-3: Held in Nairobi, Kenya (November 13 to 19, 2023).
    • INC-4: Held in Ottawa, Canada (April 23 to 29, 2024).
    • INC-5: Scheduled for Busan, Republic of Korea (November 25 to December 1, 2024).

global plastics treaty

  • It is a legally binding international treaty regarding plastics.
  • Proposal for this treaty, in March 2022 During the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) was passed.
    • Objective: The objective of this agreement is to eliminate the use of plastic.
      • It addresses the entire life cycle of plastics, including design, production and disposal.
  • Member: It includes more than 175 countries of the United Nations.

Challenges in reaching agreement at a global level

  • Economic impact on oil producers: Countries like Saudi Arabia, the US and Russia, which are heavily dependent on the oil industry, fear that tighter restrictions on plastic production could slow the growth of their economies.
  • Lack of specific reduction target: The proposed year of 2040 for plastic reduction is a matter of controversy.
    • Some nations support closer deadlines, while others push for a more gradual approach.
  • Voting vs Consensus: It The treaty provides for debate and a voting process to resolve disputes.
    • This negotiation involves whether controversial issues should be decided by majority vote or require agreement from all countries (effectively giving each a veto).

Global inequality in plastic pollution

A report by non-profit organization 'EA Earth Action' highlights the imbalance in the distribution of plastic pollution around the world.

key points

  • Brazil, China, India and the United States collectively contribute 60% of the world's plastic waste.
    • This indicates a significant burden of plastic pollution borne by these countries compared to others.

  • Needs of Developing Countries: India, representing many developing countries, calls for financial assistance, technology transfer and capacity building to implement alternatives to plastics.
    • This echoes the “common but differentiated responsibilities” principle used in climate talks.
  • Unequal plastic pollution burden: Issues with plastic pollution reduction, as not all countries contribute equally to plastic pollution.
    • Therefore there is a need to address the different capabilities of different nations.

India's efforts and challenges in tackling plastic pollution

  • Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules (2021): In the year 2022, India took an important step to address plastic pollution by enacting the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules- 2021.
  • Challenges
    • Limited scope of restriction: The rules banned 19 categories of single-use plastics; However', plastic bottles, even less than 200 ml and multi-layered packaging boxes, such as milk cartons, were not included.
    • Inconsistent enforcement: Despite the ban, enforcement remains inconsistent across the country, with many 'outlets' continuing to sell single-use plastic items.
    • Need for affordable options: Widespread adoption of plastic alternatives requires greater investment to make them affordable for consumers and businesses.

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