Information brief

INC-3 Negotiator Briefing 1 of 10 Key Elements of a Plastics Treaty

Briefing 1 of 10: Key Elements for a Plastic Pollution Treaty, including key messages for negotiators.

The third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-3), is scheduled to take place from 13 to 19 November 2023 at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

In INC-3 Briefing 1 of 10, the Key Messages are:

  • In United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) resolution 5/14 and subsequent discussions at INC-1 and INC-2, the issue of elements of the International Legally Binding Instrument (ILBI) became quite important.
  • Following INC-1, it was clear that the ILBI could benefit from many key elements developed throughout treaty practice, especially that of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
  • At the same time, the issues raised by plastic pollution and potential State responses are highly complex, often quite technical, and may require nuanced responses that are not necessary in other treaty regimes.
  • These issues continued throughout INC-2, where discussions included some aspects of potential Treaty elements and it was agreed that further information would be gathered from States and stakeholders before the release of the mandated Zero Draft.
  • Examining standard concepts from treaty regimes and MEAs allows for negotiations to focus on the ways in which these distinctions can be accommodated and benefit from the strengths of international law and established practice.
  • In the main IUCN Submission in advance of INC-3, a number of elements for the ILBI have been proposed and the below sections are intended to complement these recommendations.

A compilation of 10 Briefings for negotiators is available here. These are:

Briefing 1: Key Elements for Plastic Pollution Treaty 
Briefing 2: Glossary of Key Terms 
Briefing 3: Structure of Plastic Pollution Treaty (ILBI) 
Briefing 4: Just Transition and the International Legally Binding Instrument 
Briefing 5: Regime Convergence and the International Legally Binding Instrument 
Briefing 6: Circular Economy and Plastic Life-Cycle Issues 
Briefing 7: Legal Process of Treaty Negotiations 
Briefing 8: Connections between IUCN’s Plastic Pollution Elimination Timeline and the SDGs 
Briefing 9: Connections between IUCN’s Plastic Pollution Elimination Timeline and the GBF
Briefing 10: Free Trade Agreement Convergence and the Plastic Pollution Treaty