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"Turn Off the Plastics Tap" by Benjamin von Wong / Photo: United Nations Environment Programme

Follow the development of the Global Plastics Treaty with the Global Plastics Policy Centre

The world has witnessed the consequences of the global plastic pollution crisis for decades and their disproportionate effects on the world’s most vulnerable people and ecosystems. The irrefutable evidence for the climate, economic and health impacts of plastic pollution further make the case for global action to confront plastic pollution. The resolution to develop an international legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution (the ‘global plastics treaty’) at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2) was a globally significant moment celebrated by UNEA delegates.

Five intergovernmental negotiating committees (INCs) will convene during the two year negotiation process, at which nations will define the scope, objectives and structure of the treaty. The first INC along with a vibrant multi-stakeholder forum kickstarted negotiations in Uruguay between 26 November and 2 December in 2022. 

The proposed two-year negotiating process is only the first step. Once the treaty is drafted, it must be formally adopted in a Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries in 2025 and opened for country signatures. Only then does the collective journey of implementing the treaty and ending plastic pollution formally begin around the world. This does not mean that nations must wait for the treaty to take action on plastic pollution. 

“One thing is clear at this stage, however. It is time for governments, industry and civil society to get behind the agreement – or rather get ahead of it.”

Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

The research we are undertaking at the Global Plastics Policy Centre will track and support the negotiation process.

This research is a natural step forward from our work on evidence-based plastics policy analysis. On the Global Plastics Treaty webpage, our efforts are focused on following the development of the treaty and associated key themes. We are already undertaking a series of expert interviews that will be used to identify pressing INC topics and other insights. Research findings, alongside INC updates, policy briefs and blog posts will help you to stay up-to-date with the negotiation process. 

Our short-term contributions during the negotiation process will include:

  • Policy briefings specific to the agenda of upcoming negotiations
  • Blogs combining insights from expert interviews and existing research
  • Deep-dive reports unpacking pressing INC topics
  • Promotion of relevant events or learning opportunities in our calendar

Our long-term contributions during the negotiation process, and beyond, will include:

  • In-depth analysis of the process to develop the treaty and how this can inform future phases of the plastics negotiations and other multilateral environmental agreements
  • Understanding stakeholder and expert perceptions of the potential effectiveness of the treaty and its negotiation process
  • Constant expansion of our evidence-based reviews of plastics policies
  • New case studies on sectors, policy types, countries and regions 
  • Scientific articles on key issues in plastics governance

Our Global Plastics Treaty webpage is aimed at policy and decision makers, and actors involved in the negotiation process, but is accessible to anyone interested in or researching the negotiation process. 

Watch this space for new research outputs and blogs, and feel free to share them with your friends, peers and colleagues. We will always welcome feedback on how to make this page better and if you have any suggestions or would like us to feature your treaty-related research on the website, contact us via

We look forward to treading the treaty path together with you! 

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