UN Plastics Reduction Treaty


Discussions have been begun on how to control plastics. Next meeting scheduled in December.

Prepatory reports for the meeting included (edited)–

The following specific measures, among others, should be considered in the context of the plastics treaty

  1. Trade restrictions and bans for certain types of plastic feedstocks, polymers, additives, and plastic
    products between Parties, and between Parties and non-Parties: It is expected that the plastic treaty
    will include restrictions on the production and use of certain plastic feedstocks, polymers, additives, or
    products. To support the efficacy of such measures, trade restrictions and bans on imports and exports of
    products subject to such phaseouts will be essential. To avoid the possibility to circumvent treaty
    obligations through imports or export with non-Parties, the same types of trade restrictions should be
    applied between Parties and non-Parties. This type of measure also offers a major incentive for
    non-signatory States to sign the agreement.

  2. Permit requirements: Import and export permits allows States to say no and retain control over what is
    imported, while export permits place some responsibility on the exporting State to ensure that (i) the
    shipment is correctly classified, (ii) meets any requirements, (iii) is in conformity with their supply and
    demand reduction commitments, and (iv) that the importing State is able to manage plastic feedstocks,
    polymers, additives, or the plastic product in an environmentally-sound manner. This would allow a
    certain level of control while still permitting trade in certain types of polymers, additives, and plastic
    products that are not restricted or banned.

  3. Declaration of imports and exports of plastic feedstocks, polymers, additives, and plastic products in
    addition to monitoring and reporting: All imports and exports of plastic feedstocks, polymers, plastics
    products, and additives covered by the plastics treaty should be reported at prescribed intervals, in
    accordance with the data reporting system established for that purpose, for instance by sending the data
    to the plastic treaty secretariat [or Parties]. As a minimum, Parties must declare the type of feedstock or
    plastics, the States of import, export, and transport, in addition to the amount. Reports should be made
    easily available by the secretariat. In addition to addressing the general lack of data on plastics and trade,
    this transparency measure would contribute to ensuring compliance with the treaty’s provisions and
    requirements, and allow other Parties, citizens, and civil society to participate in its enforcement while
    fulfilling the right of citizens to access environmental information, recognized in parts of the world.



Flying from Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) with a transit stop in Zanzibar, some passengers (including myself) discovered that Tanzania had banned plastic bags. Over the intercom, the instructions were to remove items from plastic bags, and leave the plastic bags on the KLM plane. Not sure what happens if the plastic bags are in one’s checked-in luggage.

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