Delegates broke with the norm by holding a dialogue with stakeholders during “normal negotiating hours,” in Punta del Este, Uruguay, for day two of the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-1) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.
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Led by INC Chair Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru, the morning session saw delegations continue to share their broad visions for what a treaty addressing the entire lifecycle of plastic could look like. Several shared national measures to curb plastic pollution, with some providing examples of local and national work on marine plastic prevention, and others focusing on bans and taxes on certain single-use plastic products. A number of others also shared challenges and experiences in their work related to microplastics in the environment.
In their priorities for the INC, several reiterated the importance of addressing the entire lifecycle of plastics, with some including plastic production as part of this lifecycle. Several others also prioritized design standards of plastic products.
In the afternoon, during an innovative session organized by the INC Secretariat, a stakeholder dialogue took place. Delegates heard from two panels, comprising representatives from government, civil society, academia and the private sector, including plastic producers. Panelists highlighted, among several other issues:
- legally binding measures to hold polluters liable for plastic waste;
- recognizing and protecting the human rights of communities from the effects of plastic pollution;
- resource mobilization for waste management in developing countries;
- addressing plastic product design standards;
- reducing plastic production and use to avoid recycling altogether;
- scientific, technical, and financial support for the most vulnerable to the impacts of plastic pollution; and
- recycling only when it is safe for those doing so.