Envi groups dismayed over hijack of plastics treaty negotiations by petrochem, plastics interests

As the third negotiations (INC3) for a global plastics treaty closed earlier this week, civil society organizations from different countries were disappointed over the seeming failure to move closer to a strong and binding global plastic agreement to end plastic pollution.

Plastic pollution has reached a critical global scale. Annually, over 280 million tonnes of short-lived plastic products are discarded, as reported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). An estimated 19-23 million tonnes of this waste seeps into aquatic ecosystems, relentlessly polluting lakes, rivers, and seas.

According to environmental justice group BAN Toxics, instead of endorsing a mandate for the initial draft, Member States chose to revise the Zero Draft, expanding it and making progress more difficult. The draft emerged after the second round of talks in Paris earlier this year, intended to facilitate the negotiations in formulating an international legal instrument. It was a balanced document with a range of views presented as options before the start of INC3.

“Petrochemical and plastics industry-leaning governments successfully undermined the talks by raising procedural objections, stalling the negotiations, and introducing low-ambition language to dilute the push for a globally binding agreement,” said Jam Lorenzo, research and policy officer of BAN Toxics currently in Nairobi. Lorenzo joined other civil society organizations, many coming from global networks such as the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), and the Break Free from Plastics (BFFP) movement.

Civil society strongly criticized the open-door policy accorded to the industry during the talks. As per the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) report, 143 lobbyists from the fossil fuel and chemical industries registered to attend INC-3. This group surpassed any national delegation or civil society organization in size and acquired significant access to government representatives worldwide.

Certain member states exerted considerable effort to weaken the directive for a treaty encompassing the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, which starts at raw material extraction. They aim to concentrate solely on waste management strategies, asserting that the issue does not stem from plastic itself but from its management and disposal.

“Member States in the room have the moral obligation to prioritize planetary boundaries, human rights and just transition for fenceline communities and waste pickers. A handful of countries must not hold the planet hostage and prevent an ambitious treaty addressing the full life cycle of plastics, which starts at raw material extraction,” said Merrisa Naidoo, Plastics Campaigner at GAIA Africa.

All plastics are made of chemicals. More than 13,000 chemicals have been identified as associated with plastics and plastic production across a wide range of applications, based on UNEP studies. Some of these chemicals are toxic that harm human health and the environment.

Plastics production also significantly fuels the climate crisis. It is among the most energy-intensive manufacturing processes globally, deriving from fossil fuels like crude oil. In 2019 alone, plastics accounted for 1.8 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing 3.4% to the global total.

“The health and environmental impacts of plastics, especially problematic ones containing toxic materials and unnecessary single-use products, are being ignored in these discussions, and giant plastics and fossil fuel industries continue to promote false solutions, block scientific progress, and influence the negotiations with problematic definitions of key concepts such as reuse and circularity. The level of plastic production remains excessive,” Lorenzo said.

Member States failed to reach a consensus on intersessional work, resulting in the closure of INC-3 without a structured plan to address crucial elements of the treaty. These include the gradual elimination of hazardous chemicals, plastic polymers, and microplastics, as well as the expansion of reuse initiatives before the upcoming negotiations at INC-4. This setback will impede progress in advancing the treaty process during INC-4, according to the group.

“We anticipate fierce resistance in the coming negotiation against the call to reduce virgin plastic production, despite the undeniable truth that the plastics life cycle continues to bring harm. The combustion of fossil fuels stands as the primary driver of the climate crisis, its use exposes populations to harmful chemicals, and the management of plastic waste remains a globally significant health and environmental problem,” added Lorenzo.

“We need a systemic change in the global plastics economy and we must not be hindered by diversionary tactics and false solutions. We echo the calls of civil society groups from across the world to adhere to the zero-waste hierarchy by prioritizing reduction and reuse before recycling. A fair and equitable transition is necessary so that wealthier countries and major polluters take responsibility for the disproportionate mess they have created,” Lorenzo concluded.

BAN Toxics is collaborating closely with various civil society organizations in the region and globally, gearing up for the INC-4 in Canada next April, aiming for a plastics treaty that advocates human rights and environmental justice. 

  • Related Posts

    Marcos administers oath of new DepEd Secretary Angara

    PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administered the oath of newly appointed Education Secretary Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Friday evening, officially welcoming him to his Cabinet. “Welcome to the Cabinet,”…

    PBBM respects VP’s decision not to serve another Cabinet post

    PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. respects the decision of Vice President Sara Duterte not to serve another Cabinet post after she resigned as secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).…

    You Missed

    Marcos administers oath of new DepEd Secretary Angara

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 3 views
    Marcos administers oath of new DepEd Secretary Angara

    PBBM respects VP’s decision not to serve another Cabinet post

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 3 views
    PBBM respects VP’s decision not to serve another Cabinet post

    PBBM signs new procurement, anti-scam laws

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 6 views
    PBBM signs new procurement, anti-scam laws

    CSP ng Meralco para sa 600 megawatts baseload supply ipinanawagan ni Cayetano na itigil

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 7 views
    CSP ng Meralco para sa 600 megawatts baseload supply ipinanawagan ni Cayetano na itigil

    Romualdez greets Abalos Happy Birthday

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 6 views
    Romualdez greets Abalos Happy Birthday

    Group urges Bulacan Governor to take action vs beauty products banned by FDA

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 7 views
    Group urges Bulacan Governor to take action vs beauty products banned by FDA

    Pangasinan residents receives hearing aids, assistive devices from DOH

    • By admin
    • July 19, 2024
    • 55 views
    Pangasinan residents receives hearing aids, assistive devices from DOH

    PNP chief Marbil lauds Serbisyong Bayanihan caravan in PRO Calabarzon

    • By admin
    • July 18, 2024
    • 13 views
    PNP chief Marbil lauds Serbisyong Bayanihan caravan in PRO Calabarzon

    PBBM’s assistance to farmers, fisherfolk to bring down food prices – Speaker

    • By admin
    • July 18, 2024
    • 5 views
    PBBM’s assistance to farmers, fisherfolk to bring down food prices – Speaker

    Hrep completes renovation of facilities ahead of SONA

    • By admin
    • July 18, 2024
    • 7 views
    Hrep completes renovation of facilities ahead of SONA

    House probes POGO-linked crimes

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 4 views
    House probes POGO-linked crimes

    Solon lauds NIA’s solar irrigation project to benefit 4.5K farmers in Bicol region

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 11 views
    Solon lauds NIA’s solar irrigation project to benefit 4.5K farmers in Bicol region

    Aid caravan serves over 16,000 disadvantaged Leytenos, completes coverage of 1st District

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 110 views
    Aid caravan serves over 16,000 disadvantaged Leytenos, completes coverage of 1st District

    Tiangco lauds Marcos admin’s efforts to make affordable rice at 29 per kilo

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 58 views
    Tiangco lauds Marcos admin’s efforts to make affordable rice at 29 per kilo

    DBM, naglabas ng guidelines sa paggamit ng pondo para sa Green Green Green Program

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 102 views
    DBM, naglabas ng guidelines sa paggamit ng pondo para sa Green Green Green Program

    P562-M halaga ng interbensyon, ipinagkaloob ng DA-4A sa Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 108 views
    P562-M halaga ng interbensyon, ipinagkaloob ng DA-4A sa Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair

    DOH donates P31-M worth of anti-dengue supplies to Ilocos LGUs

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 102 views
    DOH donates P31-M worth of anti-dengue supplies to Ilocos LGUs

    House checks preparedness of power sector vs La Niña

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 78 views
    House checks preparedness of power sector vs La Niña

    Pag- ban ng mga POGO sa Bulacan pinuri ni Gatchalian

    • By admin
    • July 16, 2024
    • 118 views
    Pag- ban ng mga POGO sa Bulacan pinuri ni Gatchalian

    NIA eyes solar power to maximize potential of Chico River Irrigation Project

    • By admin
    • July 16, 2024
    • 121 views
    NIA eyes solar power to maximize potential of Chico River Irrigation Project

    Marcos orders proper use, disposal of rainwater by making it clean, potable water source

    • By admin
    • July 16, 2024
    • 114 views
    Marcos orders proper use, disposal of rainwater by making it clean, potable water source

    Anti-Political Dynasty Bill inihain ni Padilla

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 116 views
    Anti-Political Dynasty Bill inihain ni Padilla

    Chinese man shot self during arrest, BI nabs 3 other murder suspects in Pampanga

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 142 views
    Chinese man shot self during arrest, BI nabs 3 other murder suspects in Pampanga

    Villar fetes Las Piñas’ home heroes

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 138 views
    Villar fetes Las Piñas’ home heroes

    14 Nigerians fraudsters arrested by BI

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 115 views
    14 Nigerians fraudsters arrested by BI

    Prices of commodities in Calabarzon recorded at 3.3% slightly lower in June

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 133 views
    Prices of commodities in Calabarzon recorded at 3.3% slightly lower in June

    Over P64-M aid benefits rolled out in Leyte caravan on its 2nd week

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 135 views
    Over P64-M aid benefits rolled out in Leyte caravan on its 2nd week

    Cayetano pushes for DOLE, DBM inclusion in Education Cabinet Cluster

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 241 views
    Cayetano pushes for DOLE, DBM inclusion in Education Cabinet Cluster

    Marcos sends well wishes to Trump

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 137 views
    Marcos sends well wishes to Trump

    Cayetano offers prayers for Trump after assassination attempt

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 127 views
    Cayetano offers prayers for Trump after assassination attempt

    P680K shabu declared as documents intercepted at NAIA

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 91 views
    P680K shabu declared as documents intercepted at NAIA

    Former President Trump sugatan sa assassination attempt

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 143 views
    Former President Trump sugatan sa assassination attempt

    Bad jokes, toxic politics have no place in Bagong Pilipinas– Reyes

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 139 views
    Bad jokes, toxic politics have no place in Bagong Pilipinas– Reyes

    Enhanced Rizal Program iginiit sa senado na paigtingin sa basic education curriculum

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 116 views
    Enhanced Rizal Program iginiit sa senado na paigtingin sa basic education curriculum

    Rep Villar: ‘Adulting is difficult, never give up’ 

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 130 views
    Rep Villar: ‘Adulting is difficult, never give up’ 

    Sports journalist na si Chino Trinidad , pumanaw sa edad na 56

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 126 views
    Sports journalist na si Chino Trinidad , pumanaw sa edad na 56

    Romualdez sets House top priority to pass 2025 national budget

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 185 views
    Romualdez sets House top priority to pass 2025 national budget

    Ex-Zamboanga Del Norte Gov., others face charges over alleged P900 million illegal donations 

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 239 views
    Ex-Zamboanga Del Norte Gov., others face charges over alleged P900 million illegal donations 

    Honasan calls for military hospital ships in AFP modernization program

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 156 views
    Honasan calls for military hospital ships in AFP modernization program

    Barbers: Drug reform law key in drug war

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 158 views
    Barbers: Drug reform law key in drug war