Life in plastic, not fantastic: Australian govt must champion strong plastics treaty

SYDNEY, TUESDAY 23 APRIL 2024 – As negotiators from 176 nations meet this week to develop an international treaty on plastic pollution, Greenpeace is urging the Australian government to back a Global Plastics Treaty with strong plastic reduction targets that will put an end to single-use plastics in Australia.

The fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), held this week in Canada, will discuss the draft terms of the Global Plastics Treaty, which the United Nations committed to deliver by the end of 2024.

Greenpeace is calling for the treaty to set a legally-binding target to reduce plastic production by at least 75% by 2040, followed by significant reductions in production year-on-year and eventually phase out plastic production entirely.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific Senior Oceans Campaigner Violette Snow said the Australian government must champion strong targets and focus on reducing plastic production.

“The INC-4 is a crucial meeting that could determine the role toxic plastic will play in the future of our planet, the health of our children and the stability of our climate. The clock is ticking. The Global Plastics Treaty is a once-in-a-generation opportunity – it can’t go to waste,” she said.

“Australia must stem the tide of plastic, starting with a strong, legally binding target to reduce plastic at its source. Australia can be a global leader by championing ambitious targets at the UN, and not bowing to petrostates trying to water down the treaty terms.”

Greenpeace is calling for the Global Plastics Treaty to end plastic pollution – from production to disposal – and to end single-use plastics to protect the environment and human health. 

“Australians know that life in plastic isn’t fantastic. Plastic pollution floods our planet, destroys biodiversity, kills our wildlife and worsens the climate crisis across the entire life of plastic – from extraction, production, packaging, distribution, incineration and dumping. The deadly cycle brought by runaway plastic production and use needs to stop for good, and a strong treaty will see to that,” Snow said.

“As part of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution, the Australian government must walk the talk and model high ambitions. We need more focus on rapidly phasing down plastic production, and less focus on band-aid solutions. While there is a place for recycling in a circular economy, we can’t rely on recycling our way out of the plastics crisis.”



Photos can be found here

A media briefing of the INC-4 is attached here

Audio grabs from Violette Snow can be found here

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Kimberley Bernard on +61 407 581 404 or

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