The inter-governmental secretariat that manages the Basel Convention has announced the creation of a “Partnership on Plastic Waste” that aims to prevent and improve the management of plastic waste at the global, national, and regional levels. The multi-stakeholder program will involve national and regional governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and academia. Specifically, the partnership’s terms of reference describe that it aims to “promote the development of policy, regulation and strategies on the prevention and minimization of plastic waste, in particular in relation to single-use plastics.” This is set to include investigating aspects such as “better design and innovation to improve durability, reusability, repairability and recyclability of plastics and to avoid hazardous substances in plastics.” The partnership’s workplan for the years 2020-2021 is allocated among four topics and includes tasks such as information gathering on barriers, solutions, and lessons learned for prevention and sound management of transboundary movement of plastic wastes, as well as running pilot projects and capacity-building activities.

In May 2019, member states of the Basel Convention agreed to enact stricter controls on the transport of plastic waste across international borders (FPF reported). The U.S. later objected to the implementation of a similar agreement for member states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (FPF reported).

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Basel Convention (August 2019). “Plastic Waste Partnership: Overview.”

Basel Convention (June 11, 2019). “Terms of reference for the Basel Convention Partnership on Plastic Waste and workplan for the working group of the Partnership on Plastic Waste for the biennium 2020–2021.” (pdf)

Chemical Watch (August 15, 2019). “Global partnership will address hazardous substances in plastics.”