Greenpeace Aotearoa is calling on the government to advocate for the interests of people and climate in negotiations for a global treaty that will end plastic pollution after the first Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC).

The negotiations, which concluded last weekend in Uruguay, follow a mandate for a strong and ambitious global plastics treaty agreed earlier this year in March at the United Nations Environment Assembly.

Greenpeace campaigner, Juressa Lee says “If big oil and plastic polluters like Coca-Cola have their way, these negotiations will be derailed and we will end up with a weak and ineffective treaty. If this happens, plastic production will only increase.”

Lee says at current projections, production could triple by 2050 so it’s crucial that we center the perspectives of those most affected.

“Communities living mindfully with our environment contribute to the plastics crisis the very least but are experiencing the worst effects of the plastic crisis, as well as the climate crisis. Their worldviews and lived experiences are necessary in understanding the true scale of the problem and finding solutions.

“Many states acknowledged the necessity of indigenous participation in the negotiations. However, there needs to be more emphasis on removing barriers to allow participation by indigenous peoples.”

Lee added that to create a just treaty, negotiations must be accessible for communities on the frontline and from indigenous peoples. 

“We must amplify these voices and enable participation without further marginalisation. It includes but isn’t limited to financial and digital equity, as well as consideration for their roles and responsibilities within their families and communities.”

Ahead of the INC1, New Zealand joined the High Ambition Coalition. Lee says the coalition formed with an intention to push negotiations forward for more ambitious measures which protect our health, our climate and our communities from the plastics crisis.  

PETITION: Demand a Global Plastics Treaty

Call on the NZ Government to ban unnecessary single-use plastic bottles* in NZ, and to incentivise reusable and refillable alternatives.

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