The new legally binding instrument to end plastic pollution will need to consider measures across the full lifecycle of plastics. So called ‘midstream’ measures, for example on product design, will be essential to complement absolute reductions in plastic production.
A fundamental challenge with a linear conception of plastic materials and products is not considering the environmental and societal benefits of both reduction and reuse, particularly when designing midstream policy measures. Thus, an essential element of the new global policy framework that needs specific consideration is the role of inclusive and accessible reuse systems in supporting the overarching policy ambitions of plastic pollution elimination.
It is time to move beyond simply banning products in isolation and use the opportunity of the treaty to envision, and create the framework for, a new and more sustainable model of consumption.