Single-use plastics. During the Second Meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Plastics Treaty, held in Paris, France, from May 29 to June 2, negotiations began to establish a legally binding treaty to reduce plastic pollution and phase out the use of plastics by 2040. At the end of the meeting, the participating countries requested the chair of the Committee to present a draft Legally Binding Treaty under the terms set out in the 2022 resolution. They requested that the draft be presented at the next meeting, to be held in November of this year in Nairobi, Kenya.
During the event, two contact groups were organized to work on specific aspects of the treaty. In the first group, the objectives of the treaty were discussed. Participating delegates agreed to include among the goals of the agreement the progressive elimination and/or reduction of the supply, demand and use of primary plastic polymers; the prohibition or reduction of “problematic and avoidable” plastic products; and the control of chemicals and polymers of concern, as well as the reduction of nano- and microplastics. The second group addressed the means of implementation of the treaty. There, delegates recommended that once signed, each ratifying country should implement the treaty at the national level through national action plans.
The agreement is currently being promoted centrally by two countries: Norway and Rwanda. However, 58 countries have expressed their support for the progress of the text, including, within Latin America and the Caribbean, the following: Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.
Following this first stage of work, the Committee’s chairmanship and secretariat will work on a draft that will be discussed at the next meeting to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, in November. It is expected that this draft will incorporate the observations previously discussed at the Committee’s meetings and will be in line with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) resolution 5/14. In addition, a space will be opened for observers of the agreement to submit proposals, with a deadline of August 15.
McDonald’s engagement opportunities
The process of discussion of the international treaty does not allow greater incidence on the part of private organizations. However, once approved, each country will have to define whether to sign and ratify it at the national level as a step prior to its implementation with secondary rules. In this process, McDonald’s could adopt an important role through strategic approaches with members of each Executive Branch to stimulate or limit its approval.