According to participants, negotiating states have made little progress in drawing up a globally binding agreement to curb plastic waste. In the third round of negotiations, the representatives of the approximately 170 member states of the United Nations "stood still," WWF Germany said in a statement that night.
The states had been negotiating for seven days until late Sunday evening in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. An official announcement from the UN environmental program UNEP, which organized the conference, was still pending.
“The braking maneuvers and resistance from oil-producing states such as Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran cost a lot of time and brought the negotiations almost to a complete standstill,” said WWF Senior Policy Advisor Florian Titze. A mandate could therefore neither be given for further political work on the text between the negotiating rounds, nor for technical working groups on the scientific basis of the agreement. Both would be urgently needed to ensure the schedule, said Titze. However, the states agreed that the agreement must cover the entire life cycle of plastic - not just issues of waste disposal and processing.
Representatives of the UN member states decided in March 2022 to seek a global agreement on dealing with plastic. It aims to set binding measures for the entire life cycle of plastics - from the quantities in which individual materials are produced to the design of plastic products to the disposal and recycling of plastic waste. After meetings in Uruguay and France, the third of five rounds of negotiations took place in Kenya last week. Next year there will be two more, culminating in a summit of states in mid-2025 to decide on the agreement.