A series of factsheets aimed at supporting Pacific Island negotiators as they navigate through the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) process to negotiate a new International legally-binding instrument (ILBI) to end plastic pollution have officially been launched.

The 14 factsheets, developed as part of the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme’s (SPREP) support to Pacific negotiators, were launched during an INC briefing given for Pacific Island delegates attending the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials which kicks off this week.

The Pacific is currently gearing up for the third Negotiating Committee Meeting (INC-3) in Nairobi, having already been to INC-1 in Uruguay in 2022 and INC-2 in Paris earlier this year. The first two INCs have considered the basis of the treaty creation, and the scope of the instrument, the third INC will commence negotiations on the text of the treaty, based on the zero draft Treaty text having been released today.

According to SPREP’s PacWastePlus Programme Manager, Bradley Nolan, SPREP is helping Members to ensure their national positions are based in science and developed through an informed and evidence-based position. Having worked with members to understand their issues and concerns, and to ensure they are resourced to advocate on the international stage.

“We support Members to consider the elements of the issues identified from the first two INCs, and preparatory meetings, to provide objective, scientifically accurate advice, enabling Members to make evidence-based decisions on how they would like the Treaty to be drafted.”

“We have been working with several partners who have stepped in to lend their expertise to support our Pacific negotiators through the drafting of these factsheets. The factsheets cover a range of issues, from plastic science, plastic alternatives, the impacts of plastics on the environment and many more,” Nolan added.

One of those partners, according to Nolan, is Massey University, which is coordinating scientists from the Scientist Coalition to produce eight factsheets on various elements of plastics science. One of the professors at Massey University who has been assisting with the development of the factsheets sits on the Scientists Coalition which consists of more than 250 scientists globally who are working together to provide up-to-date and appropriate science to inform the Treaty context.

Other technical agencies and partners have joined SPREP to develop factsheets, including the Environmental Investigation Agency, the World Wildlife Fund, the Centre for International Environmental Law, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and other partners.

“We started this endeavour attempting to develop only eight factsheets and we’re very thankful to our partners and technical agencies who have come on board and have allowed us to launch 14 factsheets at the 31st SPREP Meeting of Officials, with six more factsheets currently in the design phase and two more to be developed, making it a total of 22 factsheets,” Nolan said.