WWFs call to urgently regulate high-risk plastic products

Posted on 15 May 2023

In anticipation of the upcoming UN plastic pollution treaty talks, WWF is urging governments to support a global ban on the most high-risk plastic items, such as e-cigarettes, plastic cutlery, and microplastics in cosmetics.
New research commissioned by WWF and conducted by Eunomia has identified the most high-risk plastic products polluting the environment and proposes global control measures to eliminate, reduce, or safely manage and circulate these plastics. WWF is advocating for these measures to be included in the first draft of treaty text, set to be published in the lead-up to the next round of talks in December 2023.

The reports suggest that global bans, phase-outs, and control measures are entirely feasible and present solutions for addressing the most urgent plastic pollution challenges. The analysis splits the products into two groups based on pollution risk: those that can feasibly be significantly reduced or eliminated in the short term, and those that require other global control measures, such as product design requirements, to promote recycling and responsible management and disposal.

By categorizing the products in this way, WWF advocates for effective regulation that can be achieved at the global level, rather than legislating for individual plastic items, which can be both complex and create potential loopholes.

WWF also highlights that specific global control measures on plastic products should also be accompanied by complementary control measures on plastic polymers and additives, along with a robust implementation support mechanism. 

Read the press release.
Read more about the Plastic Pollution Treaty.

Further information and downloads
Breaking Down High-Risk Plastic Products Report
Regulating High-Risk Plastic Products Report
Publication cover page - WWF - Putting an end to plastic pollution summary
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