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The ISC at the Second Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution

From, 29 May to 2 June, negotiators will come together at the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment (INC-2).

The meeting is taking place at the UNESCO HQ in Paris, France. The meeting will be preceded by regional consultations on 28 May 2023, at the same venue. 

The meeting takes place following the resolution adopted at the resumed fifth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-5.2), which mandated the negotiation of a legally binding treaty on ending plastic pollution in all environmental compartments. The first meeting of the negotiating committee (INC-1) already took place last year, from 28 November to 2 December 2022, in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The ISC has facilitated the participation of experts in this first meeting championing integrated scientific inputs into the multifaceted challenges related to plastic pollution.  

During INC-2, negotiators working on a treaty to combat plastic pollution will review an “elements paper” that presents different options for the future treaty’s objectives, including core obligations, control measures, voluntary and/or legally binding approaches, and means of implementation. The objectives of INC-2 are to advance the development of the treaty, identify areas requiring further information and discussion, and address procedural and organizational matters for future negotiations. Delegates are expected to seek areas of agreement and highlight topics that require additional consideration in subsequent sessions of the INC. 

The Council convenes the scientific expertise and resources needed to lead on catalysing, incubating and coordinating impactful international action on issues of major scientific and public importance.  

Further information about the meeting, including programme and associated events, can be found on the INC-2 website.

ISC at INC-2 

The ISC works at the intersection of science and policy, particularly at the UN level, to ensure that science is integrated into international policy development and that relevant policies take into account both scientific knowledge and the needs of science. 

Blog and Video series

The ISC will run a blog and video series this week heading into the negotiations

Thematic events co-organized by the ISC 

Microplastic: understanding the challenge and its impacts, Wednesday 31 May, 13:30-14:45 CEST. Venue UNESCO Headquarters Hall 1.  

This session focuses on microplastics, small plastic particles found throughout our environment, including in water sources and even within our bodies. While the science on their prevalence and impacts has progressed, policies to address microplastic leakage have been slow to develop. The diverse nature of microplastics and the challenges in regulation and funding for research pose hurdles. The event brings together experts from various sectors to discuss solutions and considerations for the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) process in preventing further microplastic pollution. Objectives include providing an overview of microplastic leakage, discussing regulatory challenges and ongoing initiatives, and gathering perspectives to inform the development of a global treaty. 

Existing plastic pollution: Challenges of SIDs and remote communities, Thursday 1 June, 13:30-14:45 CEST. Venue: Hall 12 

The session will focus on the current state of plastic pollution in Small Island Developing States (SIDS), highlighting the challenges they face and exploring opportunities for solutions, including the role of the private sector. It will also facilitate a discussion on the specific needs of SIDS in effectively implementing circular economy and waste management solutions throughout the entire lifecycle of plastics. This includes considerations for up-stream, mid-stream, and down-stream approaches. By discussing these needs and challenges at INC-2, the session aims to identify concrete ways in which the future Plastics Treaty can address and support the unique circumstances of SIDS in combating plastic pollution. 

The ISC Delegation and Community at INC-2 

Anda Popovici

Science Officer, International Science Council



Experts from the International Science Council Community: 

Image by Jas Min on Unsplash

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