On September 6, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Secretariat released the initial “zero” draft of a treaty to address plastic pollution.
The zero draft is a starting point for more detailed negotiations that will resume this month at the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC3) to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution.
Having participated in the INC3 throughout the process of developing the zero draft, we are encouraged that many of our priorities were incorporated as options in the zero draft, such as limits on plastic production and identification and regulation of hazardous chemicals in plastic products.
[The Endocrine Society] will continue to stay involved in the process and negotiations through the adoption of a final treaty to ensure that the result is protective of human health and includes concrete actions to reduce exposure to harmful EDCs in plastic.
The treaty also introduces provisions related to the monitoring and prioritization of hazardous chemicals in plastics, with the involvement of a scientific body charged with monitoring and evaluating the treaty after implementation. Critically, the draft references improving human health as an overarching objective, which we advocated for from the outset.
The release of the zero draft is an important milestone in the process of delivering the treaty and represents over a year of challenging negotiations just to get to this point, however, much work remains, and we expect that the process of achieving a consensus will be challenging.
The Endocrine Society will send a delegation to INC3 to influence the negotiations and ensure that the treaty includes provisions that address the hazardous endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) added to plastic during production. Furthermore, we will continue to stay involved in the process and negotiations through the adoption of a final treaty to ensure that the result is protective of human health and includes concrete actions to reduce exposure to harmful EDCs in plastic.