The curtain fell on Sunday, November 19, in Nairobi for negotiations on a treaty aimed at ending plastic pollution. Over a week, representatives from 175 countries, environmental activists, and lobbyists advocating for oil producers gathered for their third round of negotiations.
Discussions in Nairobi were marked by disagreements until the last moment. A draft treaty had been published beforehand, presenting several options that needed to be debated and choices made.
While a final agreement was not expected, many hoped for a mandate granted to the negotiation’s president to draft an initial version of the treaty. Delegates ultimately expanded the zero draft with 500 new proposals. The provisional text grew from about thirty pages to over a hundred.
Tripling Plastic Production by 2060
The majority of countries advocate for a reduction in plastic production. However, a minority, primarily oil producers like Saudi Arabia, prioritize plastic waste management. They are accused by environmental advocates of obstructing progress in discussions. Those advocating for a voluntary approach also clash with those pushing for binding measures.
Worldwide plastic production could triple by 2060 if no action is taken, with only 9% currently being recycled. The urgency to find a solution is a consensus. Several delegates sought intermediate meetings before the next negotiations, a point they failed to agree upon.