Negotiations under way for global plastic pollution treaty that should lead to more recycling


Talks this week have begun among 55 nations to try and create a treaty to reduce plastic pollution.

The negotiations in Paris hope to have achieve a treaty by next year that would end use of problematic and difficult to recycle plastics.


It is hoped that negotiations will lead to a more circular economy for plastics.

Ahead of the talks, the United Nations Environment Programme released a report that said plastic pollution could be reduced by 80% by 2040 if countries made policy shifts using existing technologies.

The report said that more global reuse of plastics could cut pollution by 30%, improving recycling and design of products to encourage recyclability would reduce pollution by another 20%, while using alternative materials such as paper and compostable packaging would cut plastic pollution by a further 17%. The remaining cuts would be by removing unnecessary plastic in the first place.

Negotiations on the treaty are expected to last all week.

In a speech prior to the talks, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna said: “Get the redesign [of packaging] right and we create markets for repaired, refilled and reusable products. Get the redesign right, and recycled polymer is a valuable material, prized and guarded by companies, households, and governments. Get the redesign right and we massively increase recycling. 

“Get the redesign right and we produce sustainable and safe plastic alternatives. 

“Get the redesign right, and, with new investments, waste management becomes, well, manageable.

“Get the redesign right and a new economy is created. Jobs are created. Opportunities are created. A clean and profitable economy in which the interests of local communities, indigenous people and informal waste workers are secured, with nobody left behind.”