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WWF works to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and wildlife, collaborating with partners from local to global levels in nearly 100 countries.
The Role of Business
Plastics were a hallmark of 20th century innovation, and remain part of many of our most trusted products. While a sustainable future includes plastic, plastic pollution is threatening the planet’s ability to sustain life.
A victory over plastic pollution can be the hallmark of 21st century innovation but only if all of us – individuals, communities, governments and businesses – commit to being “all in” on reducing plastics’ presence and negative impacts..
The UN Global Treaty on Plastics is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to end plastics pollution, as negotiators from 175 nations, with the active participation of the business sector, build a coalition via a series of convenings held around the world. Among the outcomes are concrete actions and timelines for each group of stakeholders, which includes businesses of all sizes and types worldwide.
The third of this series of negotiations, INC-3, takes place in Nairobi in November and focuses on making evidence-based decisions to achieve the outcome our planet needs. WWF advocates for establishing specific and common regulations targeting high-risk plastic products and uses along the full lifecycle of plastics.
The success of the treaty will depend on whether it establishes:
Consider that more virgin plastic products were made in the past 15 years than in the entire 20th century. With 20% of plastic becoming litter, more pollution is flowing into nature. We can control high-risk plastics through six main paths: Ban, Phase-Out, Reduce, Redesign, Recirculate and Manage.
Businesses large and small are uniquely able to draw and hold the attention of government leaders and consumers alike. Further, their innovations and actions set the pace others follow. Thus, it is critical businesses not just “sign on” to the treaty but follow through on binding commitments they make as participants.
However, negotiators recognize businesses rely on certainty and risk reduction to plan for the future. Thus, a treaty goal is to ensure all governments and businesses play by the same, binding rules for plastic production, reuse and disposal. This will make it easier and more cost effective for all manner of businesses to realize their full potential to make an impact.
Among WWF’s recommended baseline actions for business:
Our shared healthy future requires a phased approach that marries urgency with pragmatism. Voluntary actions are helpful, but a global treaty with binding rules is better for everyone. Taking action now not only gets businesses ahead of a coming regulatory curve, it marks them as leaders others wish to follow and support. And that’s just good business.