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Plastics Europe Reaction to Global Agreement on Plastics Pollution Negotiations in Nairobi


20 Nov 2023


Sustainable Dev.

We urge all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to find solutions in the run-up to INC-4


According to Virginia Janssens, Managing Director, Plastics Europe,


“Whilst significant differences remain, we welcome the willingness of the different parties to engage in a constructive and open way, and that all opinions were heard and respected at INC-3 in Nairobi.


Unfortunately, INC-3 was not the significant step towards creating a circular economy and ending plastic pollution we were hoping for. Despite this setback, we would urge everyone, including our industry and Governments, to take on board the lessons from Nairobi and redouble our efforts. We need to work even more closely together to find solutions in the run-up to INC-4.


Following the “zero draft”, which was the starting point for the Nairobi negotiations, we hoped that the INC-3 negotiators could deliver on the need to focus on circularity, including structural measures to promote sustainable production and consumption, as well as recycling.


This is because transitioning from a linear to a circular plastic system, in which all plastic applications are reused, recycled, and responsibly managed during and after use, is key to tackling the problem of plastic waste. At the same time, circularity will reduce GHG emissions, and enhance economic development and job creation, especially in the global South.


Therefore, we are disappointed that the negotiating parties were unable to agree a way forward by the end of this negotiating round. This is a missed opportunity. The inability to agree a mandate for technical work between INC-3 and the next negotiating round was avoidable and will only serve to delay the overall negotiations. Additionally, it will further shorten the time available to address deficiencies in the “zero draft”, specifically the lack of focus on measures required to accelerate the transition to a circular plastics system.   


When negotiations reconvene in Ottawa in April 2024, negotiators must address, for example, how best to facilitate the sustainable production and consumption of plastics and plastics products and enable the rapid global expansion of collection, sorting and recycling (both mechanical and chemical). They also need to focus on measures required to create increased demand for circular plastic content in plastics production, and a sustainable financing system that unlocks the massive investments – both public and private – required for this transition. We hope to see further progress on these actions in the next round of negotiations and will further inform negotiators, where helpful, as private investors and technology and infrastructure providers towards circular economic models.”


Notes for Editors

Plastics Europe is the pan-European association of plastics manufacturers with offices across Europe. For over 100 years, science and innovation has been the DNA that cuts across our industry. With close to 100 members producing over 90% of all polymers across Europe, we are the catalyst for the industry with a responsibility to openly engage with stakeholders and deliver solutions which are safe, circular and sustainable. We are committed to implementing long-lasting positive change.



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