8 in 10 People Support Cut in Plastic Production Ahead of Global Plastics Treaty Talks

Eight out of 10 people support cutting plastic production revealed a new Greenpeace International report ahead of the fourth Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC4) meeting for a Global Plastics Treaty to be held in Ottawa, Canada this month.

The survey which was conducted across 19 countries also indicates overwhelming public backing for measures aimed at ending single-use plastics and promoting reuse-based solutions.

Key findings include:

  • 82% of respondents support cutting the production of plastic to stop plastic pollution.
  • 80% of respondents advocate for protecting biodiversity and the climate by reducing plastics production.
  • 90% of respondents endorse transitioning away from single-use plastic packaging to reusable and refillable alternatives.
  • 75% of respondents support a ban on single-use plastic packaging.
  • 80% of respondents express concern about the health impacts of plastic on their loved ones and 84% of parents surveyed express concern about the health impacts of plastic on their children.

Graham Forbes, Greenpeace Head of Delegation to the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations and Global Plastics Campaign Lead for Greenpeace USA, said: “The level of public support demonstrated by this survey sends a clear message: the vast majority of people want a Global Plastics Treaty that cuts plastic production and ends single use plastic. It is time for world leaders to listen and rise to the occasion. They must stand up to the fossil fuel industry and deliver a strong and ambitious treaty that represents the will of the people, or face significant political repercussions.”

The survey reveals consistent support for ambitious action on plastics across all countries, particularly in the Global South regions where plastic pollution levels are notably high. A strong  majority of people support these measures across all categories, including 60% of respondents who supported the exclusion of lobbyists from the fossil fuel and chemical industries from treaty negotiations.

In several countries there is a significant disconnect between the level of public support for cutting plastic production and the position of their governments on the treaty.

For example, the Indian and Chinese governments oppose limiting the production of plastics, and the Brazilian government does not specify its support for this measure, compared to overwhelming public support to cut production in China of 92%, 89% in Brazil, and 86% in India.

“We only have two negotiation meetings left – the clock is ticking and we are either heading towards a treaty that will solve the global plastics crisis or end up with a weak treaty that will only let the planet spiral towards disaster. We cannot let the fossil fuel industry dictate the terms of how the world solves a problem that they’ve created. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solve the plastics crisis – let’s not waste it,” Forbes added.

Government ministers from 173 countries are set to gather at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa, Canada from April 23 to 29, 2024, for the INC4 conference to negotiate a legally binding Treaty.  The last negotiation meeting will happen in Busan, South Korea in November 2024.

The INC3 meeting in Nairobi, Kenya last November 2023 ended in frustration as low-ambition countries derailed the negotiations, with the talks ending without a mandate to create a first draft of the treaty. Instead, the meeting saw the Zero Draft reworked to add weaker options, resulting in a convoluted document.