Calling for a strong Global Plastics Treaty

Gwen Dobbs
Date: November 14, 2023

By Xuan Thi Quach, Vietnam Country Director

Greetings from Nairobi, Kenya, from the third round of United Nations negotiations for a Global Plastic Treaty. There are many challenges to achieving a strong treaty, but today I feel optimistic. I am here alongside hundreds of other plastic activists from around the world. We are united in our key goal: we want a treaty that actually reduces plastics. We are standing alongside waste pickers, local community members, youth, health care workers, labor leaders, Indigenous leaders and many others who recognize this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to end the plastic pollution crisis. 

As a mother and leader of Vietnam’s Zero Waste School movement, I worry every day about preserving a clean environment for my daughter and all future generations. This is one reason I am so passionate about the Global Plastic Treaty – it is a way for us to take responsibility for the plastic problem and turn the corner for a better future for our children. 

A strong treaty is what we need to reduce plastic production and consumption, which is vital not only for the fight against plastic pollution but also for our collective efforts on climate change.  

Rally at the UN building

While here in Nairobi, I will present at an official U.N. side event about the critical role the treaty can play to help solve plastic pollution in Vietnam. Like many countries, plastic pollution poses many challenges in Vietnam, including plastic leakage and its impacts on fisheries and tourism, air pollution from incineration and open burning of waste, and climate impacts from plastics. Over 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels.

Plastic waste along the riverbanks in Danang City

We have regulations banning plastics, but more needs to be done. A strong treaty is critical to turning back the growing tide of plastic waste facing communities in Vietnam and around the world.  

Earlier this year, we released our “Stemming the Plastic-Climate Crisis” report to emphasize the urgent need for reducing plastic production by at least 75% by 2050 to meet international climate goals. But we recognize this target for reduction is just a start – because besides its climate impacts, plastic also threatens oceans, air, water and human health.

Will you donate today and join us in a growing wave of voices calling for a stronger treaty?  

Thank you for being an integral part of our success. Together, we can make a substantial impact in overcoming this plastic crisis to protect our environment for future generations.