On 2 March, 2022 over 170 countries agreed to develop the first-ever global agreement to address plastic pollution. Below, C&M International answers key questions regarding what the leader of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) called “the most important environmental pact since the Paris Agreement climate deal in 2015.”

What will the treaty cover?  The precise scope of the agreement has yet to be determined but could include limits on plastic production; product design; commitments to phase out certain products; and waste management commitments among other topics.  

When will negotiations begin?  The first preparatory meeting could take place as soon as May 2022 with the first formal negotiating session taking place in the second half of 2022.

How quickly will the treaty be developed? There is significant support among countries to move quickly with the aim of finishing negotiations by the end of 2024.

Who will be involved in the negotiations? All Member States of the United Nations andMembers of its specialized agencies, as well as relevant stakeholders, including the private sector.

Will the agreement be legally binding or voluntary? The agreement will include both legally binding and voluntary commitments. 

What should companies and organizations that manufacture and use plastic products do? It will be important for companies and organizations to understand the implications of the rapidly evolving negotiations and how they can advocate for and promote sustainability and sound environmental policy.

Visit for more information about the UNEA 5.2 meeting.

To learn more about the negotiations and discuss the potential impact on your business, please contact the professional listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.