A significant amount of environmental impact caused by plastics arises from primary production, which largely takes place abroad. This means that global problems can only be solved through joint action, which is why the FOEN also advocates the sustainable use of plastics at international level and participates in international bodies.
In March 2022 the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) decided to start negotiations on a legally binding agreement on plastics. Negotiations will start at the end of 2022 and are to lead to a Plastics Convention in 2024. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of plastics throughout their full life cycle. Switzerland is in favour of an ambitious agreement and is a member of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC), a group of countries committed to ensuring that the Plastics Convention results in the elimination of plastics from the environment by 2040.
Further information on the Plastics Convention: Intergovernmental negotiating committee on Plastic Pollution and the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution.
In addition, Switzerland is a party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (in German, French and Italian). At the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention in May 2019, the Swiss delegation actively endorsed making mixed plastic waste subject to control from the beginning of 2021. This means that all countries concerned (i.e. exporting, transit and importing countries) must give their prior consent to planned transboundary movements. Further information on the implementation of the new regulations in Switzerland: Transboundary movement of waste
A public-private partnership on plastic waste was established under the Basel Convention (Plastic Waste Partnership). It aims to mobilise resources, interests and expertise from industry, government, academia and civil society in order to improve the management of plastic waste and, where possible, prevent it being generated.