New UN Convention drafting & UN Basel Convention Plastic Waste Partnership: BIR on important mission to represent recycling industry’s interests in Uruguay

  • 18 November 2022
From the BIR Secretariat, Ross Bartley (Director Trade and Environment) and Alev Somer (Deputy Director Trade and Environment) will be representing the international recycling industry at important UN meetings in Uruguay from 21 November to 3 December 2022.

The first week of meetings will be of the UN Basel Convention’s Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP), updating its members (a number of BIR affiliates are members of the PWP) on key developments in their work. It will also track progress of project group work including the publication of technical documents, develop the PWP workplan for 2024-25 and discuss future activities.

The second week will be the UN Intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC-1), which will initiate the discussions to establish a legally binding instrument on “plastic pollution, including in the marine environment”. INC-1 will be the first in a series of meetings which will complete the drafting of a new UN ConventionBIR will be representing its members’ interests throughout this drafting process. The instrument is to be based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastic, having identified these 4 Strategic Goals (SGs):

  • SG 1: Reduce the size of the problem by eliminating and substituting problematic and unnecessary plastic items, including hazardous additives.
  • SG 2: Ensure that plastic products are designed to be circular (reusable, recyclable or compostable).
  • SG 3: Close the loop of plastics in the economy by ensuring that plastic products are circulated in practice (reused, recycled or composted).
  • SG 4: Managing plastic waste that cannot be reused or recycled in an environmentally sound manner (including existing pollution).

BIR will produce regular updates on these meetings throughout the next couple of weeks, during which Mr Bartley and Ms Somer will also, as the opportunity arises, meet with local recycling companies and associations.

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