Develop negotiation strategies for Draft Zero of Global Plastics Treaty

Ho Chi Minh City, March 26, 2024 – The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), along with partners including the National Plastic Action Partnership (NPAP), UNDP Viet Nam, the Pacific Environment (PE) Program, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Vietnam, held a workshop to consult with businesses, associations, social organizations, and researchers. The goal was to develop negotiation strategies and recommendations for the Amended Draft Zero of the Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution. This workshop aligns with a series hosted by MONRE throughout the intergovernmental negotiation process (INCs), with the Fourth Session (INC-4) to be held in Ottawa, Canada, in April 2024.

The Amended Draft Zero (Document UNEP/PP/INC.4/3), released by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) in December 2023, contains six main sections. During the previous INC negotiation session, most feedback from member states and international organizations focused on:

  • Identifying chemicals and polymers of concern
  • Problematic and unnecessary plastic products (including short-lived and single-use plastics)
  • Product design guidelines
  • Product composition and features
  • Alternatives to plastic
  • Implementation mechanisms for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
  • Managing emissions and releases throughout the plastic lifecycle
  • Waste management strategies

Other topics addressed within the draft include the current state of plastic pollution, ensuring a just transition, monitoring and reporting, labeling, financial mechanisms, capacity building, technology transfer, national plans, control measures, and implementation for different member states.

Mr. Le Ngoc Tuan, Director of the Department of International Cooperation – MONRE, stated: “Once adopted, the Global Agreement on Plastic Pollution will significantly impact industries, businesses, and consumers. It could reshape the entire plastics economy, from design to disposal. Vietnam’s proactive participation in negotiations demonstrates our commitment to addressing plastic pollution while protecting our national interests.”

Representing the Embassy of Canada in Vietnam, Mr. Brian Allemekinders – Head of Development Cooperation, emphasized: “Canada is proud to support the meaningful participation of stakeholders in this crucial workshop leading up to INC-4. The negotiations must be inclusive of all voices, including businesses, governments, and social organizations, to develop a legally binding international instrument on plastic pollution. We look forward to welcoming the Vietnamese delegation to INC-4 in Ottawa in April 2024. Canada recognizes the urgent need for global action to end plastic pollution by transitioning to a circular economy.

Workshop participants also offered recommendations for Vietnam’s national plan. This plan would outline steps to implement the ambitious international framework to eliminate plastic pollution, expected to take effect in late 2024 or early 2025. The EPR mechanism was highlighted as essential for engaging manufacturers, promoting eco-friendly alternatives, and securing investments to combat plastic pollution and support a just transition for informal workers involved in plastic waste management. The lifecycle approach to plastics was emphasized, requiring collaboration across various sectors.

Workshop attendees visited a circular economy model in Can Gio district, Ho Chi Minh City, which showcases how waste can become valuable resources. This aligns with the proposal by the Business Coalition for a Global Plastic Treaty in Southeast Asia, which advocates for collective action to drive change through better practices and advanced technologies.