Tracking the UN's Global Plastics Treaty (UNEA5.2, INCs)

Joshua Palfreman

10/25/20222 min read

What's the latest on the UN's Global Plastics Treaty?

We've got the schedule, roadmap and agenda covered.

UN Member States are engaged in negotiations towards a comprehensive, legally-binding international agreement on plastics that encompasses every aspect of its lifecycle, from design to production and disposal.

UNEA 5.2—Nairobi, Kenya

The UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2), held on March 2, 2022, saw 175 Member States vote to establish an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) with the task of finalizing this agreement on plastics. The resolution, entitled “End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument”, marks a significant step in the fight against plastic pollution.

OEWG—Dakar, Senegal

The Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) held a meeting in Dakar, Senegal from May 30 to June 1, 2022 to kick-start the treaty negotiations. During this meeting, Member States established a timeline for future meetings, set the rules of procedure, and defined the initial scope of work for the first INC meeting.

INC-1—Punta del Este, Uruguay

The first session of the INC was held in Punta del Este, Uruguay from November 28 to December 2, 2022. This session aimed to develop the international legally binding agreement on plastic pollution, with a focus on the marine environment. A multi-stakeholder forum was held on November 26, followed by regional consultations and a bureau meeting on November 27.

INC-2—Paris, France

The second session of the INC (INC-2) is tentatively scheduled for May 29 to June 2, 2023 in Paris, France. At the first session (INC-1), governments asked the secretariat to prepare a document outlining potential options for elements of the international legally binding instrument, based on a comprehensive approach that covers the full lifecycle of plastics as prescribed by UNEA resolution 5/14.

Looking Ahead

To stay informed on UNEA5.2 and the INC, consider subscribing to The Garbonomist. The INC Secretariat also invites Members of the Committee and observers to participate by providing written submissions and attending meetings. For more information, email or visit the INC webpage.

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