Plastic littering in nature
The UN plastics treaty

TOMRA recommends ambitious targets and legislative power to fight plastic pollution

As the 4th round of negotiations for the UN's International Legally Binding Instrument (ILBI), commonly referred to as the UN plastics treaty, approaches in Ottawa, Canada, TOMRA reaffirms its commitment to combating plastic pollution. With discussions revolving around the UN plastics treaty, TOMRA presents its strategic and pragmatic recommendations focused on enhancing waste management and fostering resource efficiency.

Strategic solutions to end plastic pollution

Transitioning to a circular economy, one which minimizes waste through efficient material use and reuse, offers countries around the world a way to address plastic pollution, combat global warming, and strengthen their economies. The UN plastics treaty could provide a game-changing opportunity to achieve this circularity, not only by addressing plastic production and consumption, and implementing effective waste management solutions as well. We need strong waste management systems worldwide to deal with the plastic we can't avoid.

As an active member of the Business Coalition for a Global Plastic Treaty, TOMRA advocates for strategic interventions to combat plastic pollution. Our recommendations include the swift implementation of proven waste management solutions, built on mandated extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies, including high-performing deposit return systems (DRS). When these systems are designed and implemented according to best practices, they achieve collection rates of over 90%, effectively reducing litter and boosting the circular economy. TOMRA also advocates for mixed waste sorting, which has the potential to enhance the circular economy and reduce the amount of plastic that is sent to landfills or incinerated. Additionally, TOMRA promotes reuse initiatives to minimize single-use plastics. Systems like these, which can be tailored to local needs, can significantly improve waste collection, sorting, and processing. By doing so, they can effectively address and eliminate plastic pollution.

Aim high, hit hard: why targets matter

Targets stimulate investments and innovations in addressing plastic pollution effectively. TOMRA stresses the need for targets that strike a balance between being aspirational and realistic, with strict timelines. By advocating for these timelines and coordinated global efforts, we can avoid fragmented approaches and ensure a cohesive strategy towards achieving positive outcomes. Establishing clear targets and timelines not only promotes predictability but also aligns the efforts of stakeholders and encourages collaboration. This method facilitates systemic change, guiding us away from fragmented initiatives that waste time and resources, without making significant strides towards ending plastic pollution.

Make it law: the need for legally binding measures to drive change forward

Although proven solutions exist, the critical next step is to establish policy frameworks that facilitate their adoption and effectiveness. Relying solely on fragmented and voluntary initiatives is insufficient for addressing plastic pollution in a timely way. The UN plastics treaty presents an opportunity to shape a circular future where all plastic is treated as a valuable resource by implementing these existing solutions.

The time to act is now

As public awareness and demand for sustainable products and packaging continue to grow, so does the urgency to act and effect change. TOMRA believes that everyone has a role to play in mobilizing support, raising awareness, and taking action on plastic pollution.

By collectively adopting these recommendations and implementing effective measures, stakeholders can contribute to a cleaner, healthier planet for present and future generations. TOMRA remains dedicated to driving progress in sustainable waste management and encourages all stakeholders to join in the effort to combat plastic pollution.

TOMRA is actively engaged in the UN plastics treaty negotiations (INC-4) and will continue to participate in the upcoming INC-5 in November in Busan, Republic of Korea. We are dedicated to sharing insights gained from our decades of experience during these events. To learn more, go to TOMRA's recommendations for the UN plastics treaty.

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