New Season 17:  Global Plastics Treaty

25 MAY 2023

The Global Plastics Treaty negotiations kicked off! This is a historic moment for Asia, because after decades of plastic waste washing up on their shores…finally..there may be a path forward. Join us as we talk to BFFP members and other experts about each INC meeting, to find out what YOU can do to support their work at the treaty negotiations.


Why It’s No Longer About Recycling

25 MAY 2023

We need other solutions to the plastic waste crisis.  Solutions that involve reduce, reuse, refill and repair here in Asia.  And those types of solutions…need to be included in the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations.  The Global Plastics Treaty agreement is not a mechanism to control plastic waste. It is a roadmap for the world to control  the life cycle of plastics that have come to dominate our natural environment and impact our health in ways we still don’t fully understand.

So that’s what we are going to talk about in this episode.  Luckily, I had the opportunity to speak with two incredibly knowledgeable people about this. Marian Ledesma, Zero Waste Campaigner with Greenpeace Southeast Asia based in Manila, who will be attending the INC-2 meetings in Paris next week.  Greenpeace Southeast Asia is a Break Free From Plastic member organization, and Marian has a deep knowledge of the plastic crisis here in Asia, as well as how to focus policies so that single use plastic…with all of its health and environmental impacts…can be eliminated from our lives.  My other guest Darina Maulana, of Enviu Indonesia based in Jakarta, who works with startups in the reuse and refill space in Indonesia.  She has a hands-on view of what types of programs and regulations work in megacities in Asia…so that single use plastic consumption can be dramatically reduced…if not totally eliminated!

To wrap up we talk about what you listeners can do to support their efforts at the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations….


Plastisphere Podcast’s Demands for the Plastic Treaty – Science over Profit

10 JUNE 2023

A bonus episode about the Global Plastics Treaty from one of my favorite podcasts called Plastisphere Podcast.  It’s run by Anja Krieger in Berlin, and like Sustainable Asia,  Plastisphere Podcast really looks at the science  behind this plastic waste crisis. I thought listeners would appreciate this episode, as it gives a great background to the Global Plastics Treaty beginnings… In the past months, Anja asked scientists and experts to send her their thoughts and demands. In this episode, you’ll get to hear messages from Richard Thompson, Bethany Carney Almroth, Sonia Dias, Tridibesh Dey, Martin Wagner, Trisia Farrelly, Rebecca Altman and Lesley Henderson.


What happened at INC-2?

26 JUNE 2023

The second meeting of the International Negotiations Committee (INC2) had lofty ambitions.  But the first three days of these Plastics Treaty negotiations were mired in political antics…making many representatives from Asia feel as though they were back to square one of just talk and no action on dealing with the plastic crisis.  

And it seems that two camps have surfaced in these negotiations:  Those that want the treaty to be voluntary commitments like the climate change Paris agreement, and those who want a treaty with more teeth and regulations.   Any commitments under the global plastic treaty will eventually be adopted as national targets by the signatory countries, and then translated into National Action Plans to implement programs and strategies for meeting these targets. The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is planning on finalizing the treaty by 2024 over the next few INC meetings…and committed at INC-2 to make the first draft treaty to discuss at INC-3.  

So to continue our focus on how reuse, reduce and refill will be highlighted in the treaty negotiations….  we wanted to bring back Marian Ledesma Zero Waste Campaigner with Greenpeace Southeast Asia in Manila.  Marian attended the INC2 meetings in Paris, and we wanted to get her thoughts on how that went.  We also invited Christina Dixon, Oceans Campaign Leader from the Environmental Investigation Agency to talk in more detail about the action steps and types of language needed to get the treaty moving in the reuse, refill and repair direction.  

To wrap up we talk about what you listeners can do to support their efforts at the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations….


How (Not) to Make a Plastics Treaty – Part I: Ambition in a Bracket

25 MARCH 2024

This bonus episode is from one of my favorite podcasts called Plastisphere.  It’s run by Anja Krieger in Berlin.  Over three episodes, Anja Krieger and Magnus Løvold shed light on how politics can influence the negotiations of a UN Global Plastics Treaty..I am replaying the first episode here…but if you want to hear more just head over to the Plastisphere Podcast.  


We’ve covered many of the issues that advocates in Asia want embedded in the plastics treaty.  However, given that the treaty needs to be supported by nations globally…it inherently is a political document.  And INC-3 proved that.  Some countries basically did all that they could to block the progress of the plastics treaty by using procedural games to keep the treaty from ever being signed.   So here is episode one of this three part series from Plastisphere Podcast.


INC-3 Is Over…What Now?

09 APRIL 2024

We have a great new episode discussing the United Nations Global Plastics Treaty from the view of Break Free from Plastic advocates here in Asia.  Our guests today have been working for decades to reduce plastic pollution at its source.  Just a brief tip though… if you haven’t tuned into previous episodes in this SEASON you might want to … it will catch you up on where we are at  with the plastic treaty negotiations!


Well, the third meeting of the Global Plastics Treaty – otherwise called INC3 – ended last November and the Revised Zero Draft of the treaty is out… But there wasn’t a lot of progress during those INC3 meetings. 

For this episode, we are partnering with Break Free from Plastic (or BFFP) to get their members’ views as we gear up for the next treaty negotiations at INC-4 in April.  BFFP has more than 12,000 organizations and individuals around the world working together to demand reductions in single use plastics and advocate for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.


INC4 and Plastic Chemicals

22 APRIL 2024

We’re back partnering again with the Break Free From Plastic movement to feature NGO advocates in Asia. In this episode. we are going to hone in on one of the big open questions at the April 2024 INC4 talks. How should the treaty deal with problematic plastics and chemicals of concern?


The US EPA recently banned certain PFAS chemicals in drinking water. And Switzerland called for an initial list of problematic plastics to be worked out by year end 2024. With short time left to negotiate the plastics treaty there is a forward movement to finally regulate toxic chemicals in plastics. But we want to take a step back and give more background to what are chemicals of concern in plastic for consumers and advocates alike. Then, at the end of this episode, we’ll circle back to how these problematic plastics can be regulated both in and out of the treaty.