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INC-3 Day 4: UN Plastics Pollution Treaty Negotiations

ASH joins the Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance in attending the third Intergovernmental Negotiating Conference (INC-3) of the United Nations Treaty to End Plastic Pollution in Nairobi, Kenya from November 13 – 19, 2023. ASH’s Chief Operating Officer Liz Furgurson and Researcher Rob Ralston of the University of Edinburgh will share updates and progress here for our community to stay engaged and informed.

November 16, 2023 – Contact Groups continued today in the run up to the plenary, which was quite brief. The plenary only included a review of each Contact Groups’ progress and the next steps on the agenda for each group. Contact Groups 2 and 3 have completed their first round of assigned discussions, and Contact Group 1 is set to complete their assigned discussions tonight. Contact Group 3 is expected to include a discussion of the multitude of requests for intersessional work, including the possibility of holding a session on the criteria for problematic and avoidable plastics, which is of particular interest to us.

Thurs far, the INC has made progress to understand diverging positions, to identify areas of convergence, and to identify where views are not yet aligned.

We’re four days in with three to go. The next plenary is set for Saturday where co-facilitators will present a revised version of the Zero Draft and a summary report which will become a final report of this session. We’ll have a much better gauge of overall INC-3 progress then.

It’s also worth noting that as negotiations over the scope and institutional arrangements of the Zero Draft progress, there is continued opposition from several member states. And, several of our Observer peers have seen and heard the persistent lobbying activities both direct and indirect of corporate interests at the margins of public deliberations. This lobbying has encompassed everything from attempts to delegitimize the evidence base on micro-plastics to promoting business friendly circularity as a solution to the plastics crisis, for example. We must address this. And WHO FCTC Article 5.3 can serve as a great example for the Plastics Treaty on how to safeguard public health interests from those perpetuating the problem.

We would like to acknowledge the work of Stop Tobacco Pollution Alliance (STPA) members who are not here on the ground in Nairobi but who are working around the clock on our collective efforts at the INC. A true team effort.

Bravo to our STPA colleagues for the brilliant feature in China Daily – Cigarette filters pose constant harm to environment.


Keep reading about ASH’s work on plastics pollution <Return to Day 3 Blog Advance to Day 5 Blog>