IPEN International Pollutants Elimination Network

In UN talks for a global plastic treaty, delegates to face off over production limits

a truck piled high with trash, Reuters logo in foreground

As the world’s nations enter another round of talks this week on creating a first-ever treaty to contain plastic pollution, officials are bracing for tough negotiations over whether to limit the amount of plastic being produced or just to focus on the management of waste.

Working with a document called a “zero draft” that lists possible policies and actions to consider, national delegates to the weeklong meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, will be debating which of those options to include in what eventually would become a legally binding treaty by the end of 2024, officials involved in the negotiations said.

For oil, gas and petrochemical producers and exporters, a strong treaty is liability that could curb the sale of fossil fuels, said Bjorn Beeler, international coordinator of the International Pollutants Elimination Network.

Saudi Arabia and other producers are “pushing a ‘bottom up’ approach that makes individual countries responsible for the cleanup, health, and environmental costs of plastics and chemicals while leaving the fossil fuels and plastics industries off the hook,” Beeler said.

Read the full story from Reuters.