Members of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) joined delegates in Punta Del Este, Uruguay late last year for the first meeting of the International Negotiation Committee (INC-1) which is charged with creating a global agreement on plastics.ICCA remains supportive of a legally binding agreement to eliminate plastic waste in the environment and is optimistic of the direction of negotiations towards achieving this goal as INC-1 concludes. Several common themes and desired actions emerged from the INC-1 meeting. Specifically:
- Scaling up a circular economy for plastics, where used plastics are captured and remade into new plastics.
- Designing products for circularity.
- Enabling partnerships between the private sector and governments to unlock financing to improve waste management, which serves as the foundation of a circular economy.
- Enhancing transparency on chemical additives.
At INC-1, nations and stakeholders raised concerns about chemical additives in plastics. Although many governments already rigorously test and regulate chemical additives for safety, the plastics and chemical industry is embarking on potential pathways to improve the transparency of additives used in plastics.Additives are essential to the myriad uses of plastics in modern life. Additives play important roles in helping prevent medical equipment from melting during sterilization, enabling wind turbines and solar panels to better withstand the elements, and building vehicles that can absorb more impact so passengers absorb less in an accident. Plastic and chemical manufacturers will continue working with national governments and international negotiators throughout the INC process so additives can be used with confidence and deliver the benefits essential to so many critical products. ICCA congratulates the United Nations and the government of Uruguay for hosting a productive meeting that moves nations closer to a future where plastics remain in the economy and not in the environment.