NAMC Input to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee of the Global Agreement on Plastic
UN negotiations in Uruguay towards a global agreement to combat plastic pollution. NORCE is accredited as an NGO partner in the United Nations Environmental Program UNEP, and we are currently contributing to the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee meeting INC-1
NORCE is accredited as an NGO partner in the United Nations Environmental Program UNEP
The meeting takes place in Punta del Este, Uruguay from November 28th to December 2nd. The INC negotiation process aims to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution addressing the full lifecycle of plastics by 2024 (UNEP INC-1).
NORCE and fellow partners in the North Atlantic Microplastic Centre NAMC (NAMC) provided a joint science-based knowledge brief to the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment before the negotiations, addressing the social and regulatory challenges of plastics usage and microplastics - and providing concrete science-based inputs.
Among the concrete inputs is a working definition of microplastics that encompasses the varying characteristics of microplastics (size and form, polymer chemistry and composition), and which provides a necessary tool for the environmental risk assessment and regulation of microplastics as a pollutant.
In preparation for the negotiations, UNEP arranged the first-ever Stakeholder dialogue. Roundtable conversations were arranged in person at Punta del Este focusing on eliminating unnecessary plastic items and hazardous additives, achieving circularity in practice, waste minimization and remediation – with NORCE representative Alessio Gomiero contributing in person on the latter topic.
Among the focal points of the discussion were the complex chemistry of plastic products and the challenge of increased toxicity of products made of recycled plastic material, which pose a challenge to a safe circular value chain of plastics. The need for science and innovation was put forward as important in the future development of circularity as well as new (material) solutions. The social-economic aspect was also lifted urging for the solidary economic inclusion of developing countries acknowledging that plastic pollution is strongly linked to poverty.