High Ambition Coalition Joint Ministerial Statement INC-2

Before the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-2) to develop a legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, we, 55 Ministers of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution, are joining forces to confirm our commitment to end plastic pollution by 2040.

We, the Ministers of the High Ambition Coalition,

Express our deep concern regarding the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution and recognise that these challenges are inextricably interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and that they are driven largely by human activity and by unsustainable patterns of consumption and production.

Reiterate our call for the establishment of an ambitious and effective international legally binding instrument (hereafter the treaty), pursuant to the UN Environment Assembly resolution 5/14, based on a comprehensive approach that addresses the full lifecycle of plastics, with a view to end plastic pollution by 2040 to protect human health and the environment from plastic pollution while contributing to the restoration of biodiversity and curbing climate change.

Welcome the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework as well as the draft agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, and emphasize that the new treaty must be aligned with these and other relevant instruments, including in relation to the global targets to reduce pollution risks from all sources, protect and conserve at least 30 percent of ocean and 30 percent of land by 2030, and restore degraded ecosystems, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees in line with the Paris Agreement.

Welcome with appreciation the adoption of UN General Assembly resolution 76/300 recognizing the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.[1]

Witness the alarming acceleration of primary plastic production globally and highlight that over 40 percent of current production is destined for single use[2], and recognise that the world can not manage the resulting plastic waste in an environmentally sound and safe manner, which will lead to ever more releases and accumulation of plastics in the environment.[3]

Underline the scientific evidence of adverse health impacts related to plastics throughout the lifecycle, especially for women, infants and young children; workers and residents of frontline communities exposed to toxic chemicals used in or generated as a byproduct from the manufacturing of plastics; and those exposed to toxic chemicals further down the lifecycle of plastics, through use of plastic products and in the management of plastic waste, including waste pickers and waste recyclers.[4] [5]

Reiterate our deep concern about the continuous release and accumulation of microplastics to air, water (both inland and marine) and land during the production, transport and use of plastic products and products containing plastics, and the littering and degradation of plastic waste, which may pose risks to human health and further contribute to the degradation of ecosystems and biodiversity.

Recognize the growing evidence that humans, animals and plants are exposed to microplastics, which can contain, carry and release chemicals of concern, including through consumption of certain foods, such as seafood, fruits, vegetables, inhalation of airborne particles, and ingestion of microplastics in drinking water[6] [7].

Aware of the multiple limitations and challenges that developing countries, and especially Small Island Developing States, confront in regard to the impacts of plastic pollution.

We therefore,  

Call for the overarching objective of the treaty to be to end plastic pollution from all sources to protect the environment and human health.

Reinforce our commitment to ending plastic pollution by 2040.

Recognize the imperative to develop common legally binding obligations and control measures for Parties to the treaty, and to cooperate with stakeholders and other partners to ensure alignment of efforts with the objective and approaches of the treaty, in order to end plastic pollution.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty to restrain and reduce the production and consumption of primary plastic polymers to sustainable levels.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty to eliminate and restrict unnecessary, avoidable, or problematic plastics, as well as the plastic polymers, chemical constituents and plastic products that are of particular concern due to their adverse effects on the environment and human health, taking into account the precautionary principle and considering their impact on circularity.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty to increase the safe circularity of plastics in the economy, guided by the waste hierarchy, including by focusing on the reduction of avoidable, unnecessary and problematic plastics,  and ensuring that only plastic products adhering to a set of agreed criteria are produced, imported, exported and put on the market, and call for parties to commit to targets in key areas, such as on reduction, repairability, environmentally sound and safe recyclability and reuse, refill systems, and the use of recycled content.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty to ensure reporting and transparency in production quantities, material, chemical and product composition, traceability and labelling across plastics value chains to provide the production and product information necessary to ensure accountability throughout the value chain.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty to prevent plastic waste in the first place and if avoidance is not possible, to manage plastic waste in an environmentally sound and safe manner, consistent with other international instruments.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty to eliminate the release of plastics, including microplastics, to air, water (both inland and marine) and land, and measures to address specific sources of plastic pollution, including but not limited to microplastics intentionally added in products, the release of plastic pellets and loss of fishing gear, building on other international instruments.

Call for binding provisions in the treaty for the mobilisation of the means of implementation from all sources that are necessary to deliver action on the ground to end plastic pollution.

Call for provisions to remediate existing plastic pollution, recognizing its disproportionate negative socio-economic and environmental consequences in developing countries, in an environmentally sound manner and in accordance with scientific and evidence-based social, economic and environmental impact assessments and national circumstances, using the best available techniques and environmental practices to avoid exacerbating environmental harm.

Call for the establishment of a multi-stakeholder action agenda, with a focus on specific sectors, to support the implementation of the treaty, with zero tolerance for greenwashing, as well as to share knowledge, scientific evidence, expertise, and technology, and to mobilize financial resources and align financial flows to support implementation.

Call upon all Member States to take immediate actions to reduce plastic pollution, alongside all stakeholders and other partners, and to take preparatory steps to strengthen domestic policy and approaches, including for national action plans, in anticipation of the treaty.

Stress the importance of making good, substantive progress at INC-2 in Paris, France, to take place from 29 May to 2 June 2023, in order to conclude its work by the end of 2024, including by:

  1. Establishing the Bureau to support the Chair and work of the Committee.
  2. Provisionally agreeing on the objectives for the treaty to guide the INC negotiations.
  3. Requesting the Chair, with the support of the Secretariat, to prepare a draft text of the treaty for the consideration at INC-3, based on discussions during INC-2.
  4. Deciding on work to be done during the intersessional period.

Encourage all Members States to demonstrate a high level of ambition in the upcoming meetings of the INC in accordance with the UN Environment Assembly resolution 5/14 End plastic pollution: towards an international legally binding instrument.

Find here a copy the Ministerial Joint Statement with list of Members of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution supporting the Joint Ministerial Statement INC-2.



[1] Certain HAC Member Countries adopted, and continue to support, resolution A/76/L.75 in accordance with Explanations of Vote which can be found here: https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/3994693?ln=en#record-files-collapse-header

[2] Ritchie H, Roser M. Plastic Pollution. OurWorldInData.org. ourworldindata.org/plastic-pollution. Accessed July 17, 2022.

[3] OECD Global Plastics Outlook – Scenario 2060

[4] Landrigan PJ, Raps H, Cropper M, Bald C, Brunner M, Canonizado EM, et al.. The Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health. Annals of Global Health. 2023;89(1):23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/aogh.4056

[5] Symeonides, C, Brunner M, Mulders Y, et al. Buy-now-pay-later: Hazards to human and planetary health from plastics production, use and waste.Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health. 2021, vol 57. DOI: 10.1111/jpc.15777

[6] Landrigan PJ, Raps H, Cropper M, Bald C, Brunner M, Canonizado EM, et al.. The Minderoo-Monaco Commission on Plastics and Human Health. Annals of Global Health. 2023;89(1):23. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/aogh.4056.

[7] IPBES (2019): Global assessment report on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. E. S. Brondizio, J. Settele, S. Díaz, and H. T. Ngo (editors). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany. 1148 pages. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3831673