TESS at WTO Dialogue on Plastic Pollution Pre-Plenary on 16 Feb. 2023


The WTO Dialogue on Plastic Pollution (DPP) continues its work in 2023, holding its first pre-plenary meeting of the year on 16 February.  

A key development is that is that the DPP co-sponsors have begun discussing how to achieve their goal of delivering “concrete, effective and pragmatic outcomes” at the 13th WTO Ministerial (MC 13) to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE in February 2024. In that context, TESS was pleased to have been invited to present its recent policy brief on The WTO Dialogue on Plastics Pollution: Overview and State of Play  and to share a vision for the way forward toward outcomes for MC13. The TESS presentation at the 16 February pre-plenary can be accessed on this page.

The hybrid 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’s DPP webpage and the WTO has published key take-aways from the DPP pre-plenary in a WTO News Item

The opening 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 (INC-2) including on the call for written submissions on “potential options for elements towards an international legally binding instrument.” The Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL) 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. 

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

The final substantive session on “Promoting Trade to Tackle Plastic Pollution” (facilitated by the Philippines and Australia) saw technical presentations starting with a briefing by the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm (BRS) 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 (QUNO) on their newly published report “Package-less and Reuse Systems Through Policy Intervention: rethinking packaging in international trade.”

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