UN Plastics Treaty: Recommendations for a Legally Binding Agreement on Plastic Pollution


Could the United Nations (UN) have the power to permanently end plastic pollution on a global scale?

This is certainly will be the hope when the UN’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee convenes its fourth session to develop a legally binding plastic pollution treaty in Canada later this month.

In addition to the session being timed around Earth Day 2024 – with the theme of “Planet vs. Plastics” – the potential plastics treaty needs to be fully brought to life because the reasons are sobering.

By 2060, global plastic waste will triple. The world generates approximately 400 million tons of plastic waste each year, with the U.S. contributing 42 million tons. Sadly, only 10 percent of plastic is recycled.

The Pew Charitable Trusts strongly supports the creation of the UN’s legally binding agreement on plastic pollution, and here are their key recommendations:

  • Restrict the Production of Primary Plastic Polymers: Measures should be implemented that restrict the production and supply of primary plastic polymers, with targets agreed upon at the international level rather than country by country only.
  • Eliminate Problematic Plastic Products: Certain plastic products are major – and disproportionate – contributors to plastic pollution. The agreement must prohibit the production, sale, distribution, import or export of a set list of plastic products and reduce the production, sale, distribution, import or export of a second list of products.
  • Improve Product Design, Composition and Performance: Improving product design would help reduce the demand for plastic products and increase reuse, refill and recycling. The agreement should include legally binding design requirements and emission limits for microplastics, rather than relying on voluntary approaches.
  • Eliminate Emissions and Releases of Plastic Throughout Its Lifecycle: Plastic-related environmental pollution can happen throughout the plastic lifecycle, not just when products reach the end of their lives. Contracting parties should be required to prevent and eliminate emissions and releases of plastic polymers, microplastics and plastic products across their lifecycles.
  • Mandate Reporting on Progress: Disclosure and reporting ensure that policymakers, financial institutions, and companies have the data they need to measure and manage progress toward the shared goal of ending plastic pollution and waste.

On April 19th, the .earth web domain will be officially launching its annual Earth Day promotion. As always, we will be offering a special pricing discount to secure your own .earth domain to enhance your brand and communicate your mission of creating a safer planet.

We hope you join us in the fight against plastics pollution!

To learn more about the .earth domain, visit Voices.Earth. In addition, many organizations and individuals are sharing their voices about the benefits of a .earth domain in our Voices.Earth podcast series.



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