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Thu 22 Sep 2022 | by Rob Hutchins

Major brands back new vision for a Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution

Danone, Mars, Nestlé, and Unilever are among the 85 strong global business across the plastics value chain, financial institutions, and non-governmental organisations have united with a vision for a new Global Treaty to End Plastic Pollution. The vision will form the basis for future policy engagements with governments through a newly launched Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, convened by none other than the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF. The organisations behind the vision view the global treaty as ‘the single most important opportunity to accelerate progress towards a circular economy’ in which plastic ‘never becomes waste or pollution’ and the value of products and materials is retained. The belief is that the treaty negotiation process – expected to conclude at the end of 2024 – will largely determine the trajectory of the plastic pollution crisis for generations to come. “The plastic crisis extends beyond all borders, impacting the health of our oceans and wildlife, and the livelihoods of people from major cities to small coastal communities. The scope and scale of this global issue must be met with equally ambitious solutions,”said Erin Simon, vice president and head of plastic waste and business, WWF. “We have no time to waste. The need for global coordination to tackle the plastic pollution crisis has never been more urgent, a Business Coalition for a Global plastics Treaty will push strongly for a framework that leaves the business-as-usual approach at the door and ushers us into a new era where ending plastic pollution is finally within reach.” The vision calls on the need for a global treaty which sets common goals, rules, and obligations that members states will be required to implement. For businesses and investors, this means creating a level playing field and preventing a patchwork of disconnected solutions. It also agrees that the treaty must support progress on a number of key outcomes including the reduction of plastic production and use through a circular economy approach, increased circulation of necessary plastic and the prevention and remediation of hard-to-abate micro- and macro-plastic leakage into the environment. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and WWF will convene organisations aligned with this vision to develop ambitious policy recommendations, engage with treaty negotiators, and build confidence in the business community on the benefits and necessity of an effective global plastics treaty. Rob Opsomer, executive lead, Systemic Initiatives, at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “Many companies and countries are already taking important steps to address plastic pollution, but voluntary action alone cannot reach the scale we need to urgently solve this crisis. An ambitious global plastics treaty is required. “That is why today we are announcing, in partnership with WWF, plans to form a Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty. This coalition will bring together businesses from across the plastics value chain to support the development of an ambitious and effective treaty – one that accelerates the transition to a circular economy and ensures the value of products and materials is not lost but retained. “Plastics can no longer be allowed to become waste of pollution.” The organisations endorsing the common vision for a global plastics treaty are committed to working closely with governments to raise the bar of ambition in the negotiation process and are calling for more business from across the plastic value chain to engage.