Small Island Developing States enter talks on UN plastics treaty


Plastic pollution

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will meet in Bangkok this week to discuss the fine print of the UN plastics treaty.

Thirteen small island states are attending, including Fiji, the Maldives, and the Republic of Palau. They are set to meet at Economist Impact’s Global Plastics Summit in Bangkok at a working group facilitated by social enterprise Common Seas.

Senior government officials are set to discuss how the policies outlined in the draft treaty can be applied to reduce plastic pollution in SIDS. Topics will include refill and reuse schemes, and extended producer responsibility for plastic producers.

The discussions are an opportunity for SIDS to meet ahead of November’s third round of negotiations on the details of the UN treaty on plastic pollution. SIDS represent around 20% of UN member states.

The first draft of the Global Plastics Treaty released by the UNEP included reduction, reuse, refill and repair targets.

SIDS are the pioneers of solutions to radically reduce plastics use.

The “Zero draft text of the international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment” was published on 4 September by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).

In June, after a round of UN plastic treaty talks in Paris, participating countries agreed to develop a first draft of the agreement on plastic pollution by November 2023.

Common Seas CEO Jo Royle, commented: “SIDS are the pioneers of solutions to radically reduce plastics use. Economist Impact’s Global Plastics Summit is a vital opportunity to prepare to enable us to deliver meaningful progress at the third round of negotiations on the UN plastics treaty in November.

“I am looking forward to working with leaders from across the Ocean Nations to co-design solutions that reduce plastic consumption and waste.”

Common Seas says it’s working with the Global Plastics Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth to deliver the workshop and an accompanying guide to plastics policies in small island states.

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