A pile of nurdles of multiple colours


The short answer – Yes.

Negotiations, known as INC-2, took place in Paris, France between the 29th May – 2nd June with the aim of progressing the development of a global legally binding plastics treat.  By the end of a long week of negotiations, the mandate was given to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) chair with support from the Secretariat, to develop a zero draft ahead of the next round of talks at INC-3, the next step toward developing a final treaty.

The chair will now take forward the potential options discussed, including the statements made by delegates during the meeting, to inform the zero draft, ensuring that the document includes consideration of the comprehensive approach that addresses the full life cycle of plastics (as called for by UNEA resolutions 5/14 (UNEP/PP/INC.2/4)) and prepare an internationally legally binding instrument (ILBI) on plastic pollution.


What was discussed at the treaty? 

The main documentation discussed was UNEA resolutions 5/14 (UNEP/PP/INC.2/4), which contained potential options for elements that may be included in a final global plastics treaty. This explored:

  • The objectives of the treaty; 
  • Core obligations, control measures and voluntary approaches;
  • Implementation measures and additional matters. 

Within this there was a focus on the need for the ILBI to include the full plastic lifecycle and the reduction of global plastic production. This was stressed by delegates from Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin American and Caribbean regions. Discussions around whether the treaty should be globally mandated or nationally determined also took place, though there was no clear consenus.

However, during negotiations there was an absence of focus on the loss of biodiversity and other key topics that were noted particularly by NGO’s. Any elements, such as the impact on biodiversity, that were not discussed during INC-2 due to the delays experienced at the beginning of negotiations can now be submitted via two main routes to inform the work of INC-3 (deadline dates for these include 15th August for observers and the 15th September for countries).


In addition to negotiations, the election of remaining officers to the INC Bureau progressed with the following being elected, with the latter two delegate groups chosen by secret ballots:

  • Antigua and Barbuda (for small islands developing states (SIDS))
  • Rwanda and Senegal (for Africa)
  • Ecuador (For Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC))
  • Georgia and Estonia (for the Eastern European Group)
  • Sweden and the US (for the Western European and Others Group)

The locations of the next INCs were also agreed, to ensure easier accessibility for country delegates, to ensure future sessions can accommodate a larger number of delegates and a provisional agenda for INC-3 was agreed. Future INC negotiations will be held as follows:

  • INC-3 Nairobi, Kenya (Nov 2023)
  • INC-4 Ottawa, Canada (April 2024)
  • INC-5 the Republic of Korea (Oct/Nov 2024)


An Expert view

Catrin Norris, Programme officer – Marine Plastics at Fauna & Flora:

‘I cannot speak for the secretariat, but I think we can be confident that pellets and other feedstock will be included in the INC3 zero-draft’.


What’s next? 

  • The next round of negotiations (INC-3) will take place in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2023. A zero draft will be shared, as well as a synthesis paper of elements missed in the INC-2 negotiations. There is optimism that plastic pellets and other feedstocks will be included in the zero draft, a positive step on the road to addressing nurdle pollution.
  • Over 1700 participants, including 169 country delegations participate in the INC-2 negotiations. We believe it is important that everyone has the opportunity to discuss the ILBI, we hope future negotiations are mindful of this and recognise the importance of transparency especially where there are known conflicts of interests.
  • If you feel an important element was missed from discussions at INC-2 please consider submitting a proposal (before the 15th August) or speaking to your nations delegations to ensure the element is raised (before the 15th September). The Secretariat will prepare a synthesis report of submissions which will be discussed for one day proceeding the start of INC-3. 


For more updates and a more in-depth summary of the INC-2 negotiations visit our information hub.