The member states and groups of member states that submitted their views on the elements of the Plastics Treaty have in a large majority (about 74% of the submissions) expressed that the Plastics Treaty should protect human health, and over half of submissions (64%) call for some form of control measure on chemicals in plastics.
For the Plastics Treaty to protect human health and the environment from the impacts of plastics throughout their lifecycle, the Treaty must address chemicals in plastics. IPEN therefore believes that the Plastics Treaty must include the following elements:
- Health protection: The protection of human health and the environment should be the primary objective of the Treaty and should be integrated throughout the control measures of the treaty.
- Reduced production: The Treaty should achieve sustainable production and consumption of plastics, with a focus on reduction and minimization while promoting innovation to safer, sustainable materials.
- Bans or restrictions on plastic trade: To avoid loopholes and address the international trade of plastics at the upstream, midstream, and downstream levels, it will be essential to ensure that bans, prohibitions, or restrictions on the production and use of plastics, plastics products, and chemicals are mirrored by trade bans, prohibitions, and restrictions between Parties and between Parties and non-Parties.
- Funding: The Treaty needs to contain a mechanism providing new, additional, predictable, sustainable, and adequate funding for the implementation of the Treaty and to require the chemical and petrochemical industries to contribute to financing the prevention and remediation of the pollution, health impacts, and other costs related to toxic exposures from their materials.
- Basic key principles: Principles, including the precautionary principle, the polluter pays principle, and human rights should inform the provisions of the Treaty, and should guide implementation and interpretation of the Treaty.
- Chemical controls: The Treaty should include obligations to ensure that plastics that remain in the economy are free of hazardous chemicals[Ui2] , including hazardous polymers. These chemicals should be identified with science-based criteria, building on criteria already identified under other multilateral environmental agreements, including the precautionary principle.