Currently, more than 11 million metric tons of plastic are flowing into the ocean each year. Plastic waste has been found in all areas of the globe, from the deepest seas to the most remote mountains. It causes harm to wildlife and ecosystems, but also disrupts the livelihood of millions of people, as well as posing major risk to human health and the world economy.
Despite the exponential growth in voluntary initiatives and national regulations to tackle plastic pollution, there is no sign that leakage rates are slowing. In order to effectively deal with the plastic crisis, the world needs common rules and standards that address plastic throughout its entire lifecycle.
In March 2022, UN Member States agreed on a mandate to negotiate a legally binding global instrument to end plastic pollution. This was a historic decision, and a major leap towards a plastic free ocean for all. Now, this framework will be negotiated throughout a series of meetings across the globe, and is expected to be in place by the end of 2024.
The first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee meeting, INC-1, took place 28. November - 2. December 2022 in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
EU member states commit at ministerial level to work for a new global agreement against plastic litter.