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Towards an Effective Science-Policy Interface for a Global Plastics Treaty

Document page titled 'Towards an Effective Science-Policy Interface for the Global Plastics Treaty'. The page discusses the complexity of plastic pollution and the necessity for a dedicated Science Policy Interface (SPI) to complement and inform the Global Plastics Treaty, stressing the importance of independent scientific input and a focus on interventions across the entire life cycle of plastics.

© Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty 2024


Towards an Effective Science-Policy Interface for a Global Plastics Treaty


Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty (2024). Policy Brief: Towards an Effective Science-Policy Interface for the Global Plastics Treaty. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.10996298

In the context of the negotiations of a Global Plastics Treaty, the Scientists' Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty emphasizes in this policy brief the crucial importance of an effective Science-Policy Interface (SPI) for the successful implementation of the Global Plastics Treaty. The integration of robust science into policymaking is essential to address the complex challenges of global plastic pollution. The need for evidence-based policy is underlined by the predicted increase in plastic production, which will continue to lead to environmental pollution without targeted scientific advice and policy guidance.

Structure and function of the Science-Policy Interface

The Policy Brief discusses how a dedicated SPI should be established as a subsidiary body that works effectively with existing science-policy panels of other Multilateral Environmental Agreements. Such an interface would not only promote synergy between different environmental initiatives, but also ensure that scientific findings are accurately translated into actionable policy recommendations. The main tasks of the SPI include the evaluation and monitoring of intervention strategies, the setting of science-based reduction targets and the continuous updating of safety and sustainability-related criteria for plastics and chemicals.

Avoiding conflicts of interest and promoting independence

A key aspect emphasized in this policy brief is the strict avoidance of conflicts of interest within the SPI. The Scientists' Coalition advocates for the SPI to be composed of independent scientists and technical experts who have no financial or professional ties to the chemical or plastics industries. The independence of the SPI is crucial to ensure the integrity and credibility of scientific advice. Clear guidelines and regular reviews should ensure that policy recommendations are based solely on objective scientific data.

This policy brief provides clear guidance for the development of an effective and independent scientific advisory body that is central to the successful implementation and long-term effectiveness of the Global Plastics Treaty.


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Richard C Thompson (University of Plymouth UK, corresponding author:, Natalia M. Grilli (University of Tasmania, Australia), Marina Fernandez (Instituto de Biología y Medicina Experimental-Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Argentina), Trisia Farrelly (Massey University, New Zealand), Joe Yates (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom), Esther Kentin (Leiden University), Juan Baztan (Versailles SQY University, France), Marie-France Dignac (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, France), Bethanie Carney Almroth (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Kristian Syberg (Roskilde University, Denmark), Peter Stoett (Ontario Tech University, Canada), Linda Mederake (Ecologic Institute, Germany).

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3 pp.
Project ID
Global plastics treaty, science-policy interface, plastics pollution policy, environmental treaties, scientific advisory bodies, chemicals and waste management, independent scientific research, conflicts of interest in environmental policy, multilateral environmental agreements, sustainability in plastics management, policy implementation in environmental science, science-policy dialog, plastics life cycle management, global environmental policy, interprofessional work in environmental treaties