HomeIndustry InsightsMaximizing Plastic Waste Value in Global Plastics Treaty Negotiations: A Key Focus

Maximizing Plastic Waste Value in Global Plastics Treaty Negotiations: A Key Focus


Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of Plastics Europe, has issued a collaborative call to action to both industry stakeholders and governments. She emphasizes the importance of a unified approach to ensure the successful and timely conclusion of the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations in Ottawa. Janssens advocates for a shift from a linear to a circular plastic system, where all plastic applications are reused, recycled, and responsibly managed, as a critical solution to the plastic waste problem.


She proposes that the treaty should recognize plastic waste as a valuable commodity. By increasing the economic value of plastic waste, there is a stronger incentive to reuse and recycle rather than resort to littering, landfilling, or incinerating. This approach not only promotes a healthier environment but also encourages significant investments in waste management infrastructure and innovation, potentially boosting economic growth and employment.


Virginia Janssens, Managing Director of Plastics Europe, is urging Global Plastics Treaty negotiators to adopt policy measures that enhance the value of plastic waste by increasing demand for circular plastic raw materials. She advocates for the introduction of mandatory recycled content targets at the national level for sectors utilizing plastics. 


Janssens emphasizes the importance of supporting these policies with sustainable financial mechanisms. Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes are highlighted as effective tools for managing the end-of-life of products, ensuring that manufacturers are responsible for the disposal of their products.


While the urgency and ambition in the treaty negotiations are crucial, Janssens cautions against adopting one-size-fits-all solutions or superficially appealing decisions that may lead to unintended environmental and socio-economic impacts. Instead, she calls for an application and science-based approach that focuses on identifying and eliminating problematic plastics without causing additional environmental and socio-economic damage.


The call for action comes as 175 nations have committed to crafting a legally binding agreement on plastic pollution. The upcoming fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, is scheduled for 23 to 29 April 2024 at the Shaw Center in Ottawa, Canada.

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