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16 February 2023

TESS Contributes to the WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution Pre-Plenary

TESS was pleased to contribute to the WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution to present our recent policy brief on "The WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution: Overview and State of Play" and to share our vision for the way forward.

During the meeting, which was held on 16 February, co-sponsors begun discussing how to achieve their goal of delivering “concrete, effective and pragmatic outcomes” at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in February 2024. The meeting was well attended by a diversity of delegations and stakeholders, and featured a range of presentations and updates from stakeholders. The presentations are available on the WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution (the Dialogue) webpage and the WTO has published key take-aways from the pre-plenary in a WTO News Item.


Cross-Cutting Issues

The first session, facilitated by Fiji, the UK, and China, focused on crosscutting issues and saw a briefing by the intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) secretariat for the new international legally binding on plastic pollution. They updated on the preparations for the second meeting of the INC including on the call for written submissions on “potential options for elements towards an international legally binding instrument.” The Centre for International Environmental Law presented a preliminary analysis of trade-related elements found in the written submissions. The WTO Secretariat followed with an update on the Aid for Trade (AfT) Global Review 2022 and the AfT Needs Assessment Survey launched in 2022. Lastly, the OECD provided a briefing on the role of development assistance in tackling plastic pollution in developing countries.

Reduction to Tackle Plastic Pollution and Circular Economy for Plastics

In the next session, facilitated by Colombia and Ecuador), the WTO Secretariat provided an update of the ongoing survey of trade-related plastic measures. This was followed by a presentation from the Minderoo Foundation on their recently published Plastic Waste Makers Index mapping the Single Use Plastics value chain. The session concluded with a briefing by the World Customs Organization on their work related to combatting plastic waste trafficking.

Promoting Trade to Tackle Plastic Pollution

The final substantive session, facilitated by the Philippines and Australia, saw technical presentations starting with a briefing by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat on the outcomes of the 3rd meeting of the Plastic Waste Partnership working group and technologies/infrastructure required for environmentally sound management (ESM) of plastic wastes. This was followed by a presentation by the Quaker United Nations Office on their newly published report “Package-less and Reuse Systems Through Policy Intervention: rethinking packaging in international trade.”

Click HERE, to view our presentation on "The WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution: Overview and State of Play"