As plastics treaty talks open, a diplomatic push to ‘restrain’ virgin resins

Posted on December 2, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling


As talks on a global plastics treaty open Nov. 28 in Uruguay, a key proposal on the table from about 50 countries and dozens of multinational firms is having the agreement “restrain” plastic production and consumption.

Whether the treaty ultimately does that remains to be seen, and the idea is only one of many on the table as the talks start in the seaside city of Punte Del Este.

But the 50 countries pushing for limits on virgin production — including nations with large plastics sectors like Germany and South Korea — have been making a very public push in the days leading up to the talks.

Known officially as the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution (HAC), the countries put out statements touting support from about 25 percent of U.N. member nations and from large blocs like the European Union, which joined the coalition on Nov. 24.

At a Nov. 27 event the day before negotiations opened, diplomats from the HAC member countries and an executive from an allied group of global consumer brands told delegates that the treaty should limit virgin resin and curtail “problematic” plastics.

“No. 1, a reduction of plastic production and use… focusing on virgin fossil fuel-based plastic,” said Jodie Roussell, a senior public affairs manager with food and beverage giant Nestlé SA, in outlining the priorities of her group, the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty.

The business coalition’s second priority, she said, is regulatory frameworks that support reuse and refill of packaging as well as recycling, while the third target for the treaty should be “legacy waste,” including macro and microplastic leakage into the environment.