Global Plastics Treaty Talks Intensify Amid Corporate Pushback

Civil Society Demands Comprehensive Coverage of Plastic Life Cycle, Corporate Influence Scrutinized

As the International Negotiating Committee on Plastics (INC-4) convenes this week, tensions rise between civil society groups advocating for a robust, legally-binding plastics treaty and corporate interests seeking to maintain influence.

Friends of the Earth International spearheads the push for a treaty encompassing the entire life cycle of plastics, from production to waste management, aiming to curtail the pervasive plastics waste trade and diminish corporate sway. The anticipated participation of corporate entities from fossil fuel, petrochemical, and plastics industries underscores the stakes involved, with their presence at previous negotiations surpassing that of delegates from numerous smaller nations combined.

Sam Cossar-Gilbert of Friends of the Earth International underscores the necessity of combating corporate manipulation to achieve meaningful progress in addressing plastic pollution. He highlights the pivotal role of grassroots movements and supportive governments in championing ambitious measures such as waste trade regulations, single-use bans, and reductions in global plastic production.

Simultaneously, negotiations spotlight the plight of countries in the Global South grappling with the influx of low-grade, contaminated plastic waste, perpetuating environmental and social injustice. Advocates like Mageswari Sangaralingam from Sahabat Alam Malaysia emphasize the urgency of ending the plastic waste trade while addressing the root cause of excessive plastic production to mitigate further harm.

With overwhelming public backing for a comprehensive plastics treaty, Friends of the Earth International urges states to seize the opportunity to enact bold measures, hold corporations accountable, and prioritize the well-being of communities affected by plastic pollution.