Leading Groups from Civil Society, Indigenous Peoples, Workers and Trade Unions and Members of Governments Speak on the Need for a Global Treaty on Plastics

Panels to Discuss the Urgent Need to Establish a New Legally Binding International Instrument to Address the Plastic Crisis. 

On Wednesday, December 14th, 2021, members of governments, representative organizations, and groups from civil society, Indigenous People, workers, and trade unions will launch a call to action for United Nations Member States to agree to establish a legally binding global instrument — a plastics treaty — at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5.2) in February 2022. The call has been endorsed by over 700 civil society groups from 113 countries.

Public Call to Action: A New Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution” is a virtual panel discussion featuring diverse perspectives from around the globe. This event will articulate the movement’s asks to Member States at the upcoming UNEA5.2 session, and it will detail how the negotiation process for a treaty addressing the full life cycle of plastics can and should prioritize participation from diverse stakeholders, especially civil society, Indigenous Peoples, workers and trade unions, and children and youth. 

Speakers will emphasize the need to negotiate a new legally binding global instrument on plastic pollution that includes measures along the entire life cycle of plastics, from extraction of feedstocks to production, transport, use, disposal, and remediation.

The event is organized by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

TITLE: Public Call to Action: A New Global Treaty on Plastic Pollution

WHAT: Virtual event with representatives from civil society discussing why we need to negotiate a legally binding global agreement on plastics.

WHEN: In order to accommodate different time zones, we will host two panels:

  • Session 1 (WEST): December 14, 2021 at 4:00 pm GMT (converter)
  • Session 2 (EAST): December 15, 2021 at 4:00 am GMT (converter)

WHERE: Register for the virtual event here


Session 1 (WEST): December 14, 2021 

  • Jane Patton, Plastics and Petrochemicals Campaign Manager at the Center for International Environmental Law
  • Griffins Ochieng, Programs Coordinator at Centre for Environmental Justice and Development
  • Carmen Capriles, Funding Member of Reacción Climática
  • Vito Buonsante, Technical and policy advisor at International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN)
  • Bert de Wel, Climate Policy Officer at the International Trade Union Confederation
  • Luis Juan Chuquihuara, Ambassador Chil at Permanent Representative of Peru to the United Nations in Geneva
  • Hugo-Maria Schally, Head of Unit Global Environmental Cooperation & Multilateralism DG Environment at the European Commission

Session 2 (EAST): December 15, 2021

  • Trisia Farrelly, Associate Professor, Massey University
  • Mageswari Sangaralingam, Researcher at Friends of the Earth Malaysia
  • Shahriar Hussein, Secretary General at Environment and Sustainable Development Organization 
  • Imogen Ingram, Indigenous leader and environmental activist at Cook Islands Sustainability Alliance
  • Patricia Pedrus, Coordinator of Waste Management and Pollution Control at the Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Emergency Management (Federated States of Micronesia)
  • Mika Perez Director of the Department of Economic Development, Natural Resources & Environment


Plastic production, use, and disposal is a growing crisis for the environment, human health, human rights, biodiversity, and the climate. Actions to address it at the global level are urgently needed. This call to action comes as many governments and corporations prepare for the upcoming United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA5.2) — currently scheduled for February 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya — where UN Member States will decide if there is a need to negotiate a treaty on plastics. Momentum for a treaty is growing: More than 160 countries have expressed their support for a global treaty, representing every region of the globe. In May 2021, Peru and Rwanda announced their intention to establish an intergovernmental negotiating committee (INC) to begin the process of developing the framework to attain ”sustainable levels of plastic production and consumption” at UNEA 5.2. The subject has also emerged in a declaration from 81 countries and in conversations at the World Trade Organization. Still, some Member States have yet to take a position regarding the treaty and whether it should be legally binding. 

For press registration or further event details: please contact Rossella Recupero: rrecupero@ciel.org

The event will be recorded. Please email Rossella to receive a link to the recording.