Global brands back call for UN plastics treaty / Clear business case for action, signatories say
Pressure from the global business community is mounting on the UN to develop a legally binding treaty to tackle worldwide plastics pollution through a coordinated international approach.

Nearly 120 companies and institutions, including some of the world’s leading retail brands, materials producers, and investment firms, have so far backed a manifesto which calls for UN member states to act ahead of the international organisation’s Environmental Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, set for next month (see of 25.01.2022).

Signatories include Amcor, BASF, Berry, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, Mondi, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, Tomra, Unilever and Walmart, as well as Swedish financial institution Handelsbanken Asset Management. The manifesto says businesses recognise that various circular economy initiatives, such as the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, will not solve the problem alone. Instead, a “coordinated international response is needed, one that aligns businesses and governments behind a shared understanding of the causes of plastic pollution, and a clear approach to addressing them”.

In a joint statement, the manifesto’s signatories said a globally recognised treaty was crucial “to set a high common standard of action for all countries to abide by, and to drive the transition to a circular economy for plastics globally and at scale.” They added, “This requires governments to align on regulatory measures that cover the whole life cycle of plastics, not limiting the scope of negotiations to address waste management challenges only.”

The manifesto’s supporters have also thrown their weight behind a new report, jointly published by the WWF, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF, Cowes, UK;, and US-based Boston Consulting Group (Boston;, which sets out the business case for tackling the problem.

The report argues for harmonised standards and clear definitions of terms such as packaging, single-use, recyclable, and reusable, along with clear national targets and action plans to deliver the treaty’s objectives. It also demands an agreed international method for calculating discharge rates of plastics by country, and a coordinated investment approach towards infrastructure development in key markets.
01.02.2022 [249561-0]
Published on 01.02.2022

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