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Islands and the plastics treaty

Small Island Developing States enter pivotal Bangkok talks on UN plastics treaty
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Aerial photo from an island of the Maldives

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will meet in Bangkok this week to discuss the fine print of the UN plastics treaty.
Thirteen small island states are attending, including Fiji, the Maldives and the Republic of Palau.
They will meet at Economist Impact’s Global Plastics Summit in Bangkok, at a working group facilitated by social enterprise Common Seas.

Ocean plastic

Over the next 20 years ocean plastic pollution is set to quadruple.
This problem disproportionately affects Small Island Developing States as, alongside the plastic waste generated by their own citizens and visitors, plastic produced by other nations enters their waters and washes up on beaches.

With small land areas and existing landfill sites approaching capacity, Small Island Developing States need solutions that turn off the tap to plastic pollution.

Reducing island pollution

Senior government officials are set to discuss how the policies outlined in the draft treaty can be applied to reduce plastic pollution in Small Island Developing States.

Topics will include refill and reuse schemes, and extended producer responsibility for plastic producers.
The talks will be a vital opportunity for SIDS to meet ahead of November’s third round of negotiations on the detail of the UN treaty on plastic pollution.

‘Small Island Developing States are the pioneers of solutions to radically reduce plastics use.
‘Economist Impact’s Global Plastics Summit is a vital opportunity to prepare to enable us to deliver meaningful progress at the third round of negotiations on the UN plastics treaty in November. I am looking forward to working with leaders from across the Ocean Nations to co-design solutions that reduce plastic consumption and waste.’
Common Seas CEO

The plastics treaty

World leaders are set to convene in Nairobi on 13 November for INC-3 – the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee – to develop a treaty on plastic pollution.
In September, the United Nations unveiled a draft (known as the Zero Draft) of the plastics treaty. This draft will guide the negotiations in Nairobi next month.

Small Island Developing States are vitally important members of the international community, and represent some 20% of UN member states.

Common Seas is working with the Global Plastics Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth to deliver the workshop and an accompanying guide to plastics policies in Small Island Developing States.

‘This workshop presents a strong collaboration, bringing together the contextual on the ground knowledge of Common Seas with the technical policy and governance expertise of the Global Plastics Policy Centre. We are delighted to be working together to help identify pathways through which SIDS can apply unique, innovative and progressive plastics policy approaches in line with the requirements of the global plastics treaty.’

Director of the Global Plastic Policy Centre at the University of Portsmouth

Common Seas is currently working with Barbados, Grenada and the Maldives to reduce plastic pollution.

The social enterprise uses a combination of tools and technical expertise to support decision-makers to gather data, calculate baseline, set targets and design a plan to stop plastic pollution.

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