October 23, 2023

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LONDON -- The Ocean Plastics Leadership Network (OPLN) is pleased to confirm that the UK Governments Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has agreed to continue the UK National Treaty Dialogues on Plastic Pollution programme and will match funding contributed by industry donors including Unilever, Nestle and The Coca Cola Company. The programme will continue in accordance with the UN Plastics Treaty schedule (2022-2025).

This multi-stakeholder engagement initiative, designed by OPLN in 2022, fosters cross-sector collaboration in shaping the UK's approach to the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution.

The UK National Treaty Dialogues programme brings together key stakeholders from all facets of the plastics lifecycle, including upstream (plastic production), midstream (manufacturing, retail and distribution), downstream (waste management), environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs), and academia.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said:

"The severe effects of plastic pollution continue to impact our wildlife, ocean and natural habitats across the world. We have listened to concerns – most recently we banned plastic cutlery and other single-use items, and restricted the supply of single-use plastic plates, trays and bowls, and just last week we launched a new consultation on banning wet wipes containing plastic.

"But our work does not stop there, we must continue to draw upon the wealth of expertise from our UK stakeholders and work with international partners to deliver an ambitious treaty that will end plastic pollution by 2040. I am pleased that the government will be matching funding to continue this programme and accelerate the action needed. 

"It is only through coordinated action that we will be able to address this issue and deliver transformative change around the world."

The UK National Treaty Dialogues for Plastic Pollution commenced with the first session on November 1st, 2022, ahead of INC-1 in Uruguay. The report from the INC-1 programme can be found here.

Marta Fiscina, CEO at Ocean Plastics Leadership Network said:

"Multi-stakeholder cooperation is a vital element in shaping a robust treaty framework that accounts for real-world input from both industry and civil society. OPLN is honored to facilitate ongoing engagement between the government and stakeholders in the UK tackling the plastics crisis, contributing to one of the most ambitious and influential treaties since the Paris Agreement."

The next round of the UK National Dialogues are scheduled to run from 20th October 2023 to 1st November 2023, in preparation for INC-3, taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.

Prominent stakeholders from the UK plastics system, including Coca-Cola, Nestle, Exxon Mobil, Primark, Morrisons, Unilever, Environmental Investigation Agency, Plymouth University and numerous others, have already actively participated in the programme's sessions. The most recent session, held virtually on 11th April 2023, aimed to reflect on the intergovernmental negotiation process and inform development of the UK's position ahead of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee's second meeting in Paris, France, in May 2023. You can access the report from the INC-2 here.

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