Canada brings the world together in pursuit of an ambitious global deal to end plastic pollution

News release

April 18, 2024 – Gatineau, Quebec

Plastic pollution is everywhere in the environment, travelling beyond national borders, posing a risk to wildlife, and damaging ecosystems. Plastic production and waste is set to triple by 2060, and up to 37 million metric tons of plastic pollution could be entering our oceans every year by 2040. This is leaving a legacy of environmental impacts for future generations. Plastic pollution costs more than $2 trillion every year, a burden that is largely held by local communities. Without new and effective control measures, and increased international cooperation, the global plastic pollution crisis will intensify.

Next week, from April 23 to April 29, Canada will welcome the world to Ottawa for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) at the Shaw Centre to advance the development a global agreement on plastic pollution by the end of 2024. During the conference, the Canadian delegation, led by the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, will convene with international partners from around the world to help drive ambition and alignment on addressing plastic pollution.

INC-4 is the fourth negotiating session of five sessions being coordinated by the United Nations Environment Programme. INC-4 represents the penultimate moment to unite the world around a shared goal to end plastic pollution.

Canada is kicking off the session with a series of events organized in partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature. On April 21, Minister Guilbeault will host a meeting of the alliance of INC host countries—Canada, Uruguay, France, Kenya, and the Republic of Korea—to discuss shared objectives in the INC process. He will then meet with several ministers and high-level representatives to continue building the political momentum for an ambitious outcome.

On April 22, coinciding with Earth Day under the theme “Planet vs. Plastics”, the Minister will co-host a high-level Partnerships Day, which will include action-oriented discussions with ministers, Indigenous peoples, youth, civil society, all levels of government, and the private sector to accelerate efforts to beat plastic pollution.

Negotiation sessions will start on April 23, where countries will continue to work through the possible scope, wording, and mechanisms, including financial tools, to include in the new legally binding treaty on plastic pollution. No final agreement is anticipated at INC-4; however, it is the critical point to build the foundations for a successful conclusion to the negotiations at INC-5 in the Republic of Korea later this year.

Canada has taken many actions to address the growing global challenge of plastic pollution, including the launch of the Ocean Plastics Charter during Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency, the introduction of a domestic ban on harmful single-use plastics, the implementation of its comprehensive plan to reduce plastic waste and pollution, and its move toward a circular plastics economy. Canada is also an inaugural member of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution, a group of more than 60 countries representing every United Nations region, with the goal to end plastic pollution by 2040 and develop an ambitious and effective global agreement.

Canada looks forward to collaborating with all nations to drive substantial progress in our united goal to end plastic pollution.


“We have a historic opportunity to tackle the global plastics crisis at INC-4 in Canada. The rate at which we are all consuming plastics is simply unsustainable, and it is only by rallying together that we can solve it. We are taking some big steps at home to cut the amount of plastics that go into landfills and the environment, but tackling this problem can’t happen without a global solution. Canadians and people around the world want to see their leaders come to INC-4 to make real progress on ending plastic pollution by 2040.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • Minister Guilbeault will also be meeting with representatives from provinces, territories, and Indigenous organizations to discuss Canada’s unique challenges and opportunities to collectively tackle plastic pollution, including in the marine environment.

  • Throughout negotiations, Canada will reinforce the urgent need to conclude negotiations this year, reiterate the shared consensus among countries to end plastic pollution, advance progress on key aspects of the treaty, advocate for a mandate for intersessional work between negotiating sessions, and continue to be a strong voice for inclusivity in the INC process.

  • In 2022, Canada and all other United Nations member states agreed at the resumed fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly to establish the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee with the mandate to develop a legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution by the end of 2024.

  • At the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly in February 2024, Canada hosted a ministerial meeting and formed the INC Host Country Alliance alongside Uruguay, France, Kenya, and the Republic of Korea. Host Country Alliance members expressed their shared commitment to conclude negotiations by the end of 2024.

  • Canada is taking action to reduce plastic waste and pollution and help Canadians move toward a circular economy through its comprehensive Government of Canada plan. Canada is also working with provinces and territories to implement the shared Canada-Wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and Action Plan that addresses the entire life cycle of plastics to keep plastic in the economy and out of the environment.

  • To ensure INC-4 is inclusive, equitable, and meaningful, Canada is also hosting a Plastic Action Zone at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa from April 23 to April 29.

  • The Plastic Action Zone offers a separate space for partners and stakeholders to share actions, innovations, and experiences to help drive ambition and prevent plastic waste and pollution throughout the life cycle of plastics. Registration for members of the public to attend events in the Plastic Action Zone is available online.

  • The 2024 theme for Earth Day, “Planet vs. Plastics”, calls to advocate for widespread awareness on the health risk of plastics, rapidly phase out all single-use plastics, urgently push for a strong global agreement on plastic pollution, and demand an end to fast fashion. 

  • The fifth and final planned INC session (INC-5) will take place from November 25 to December 1, 2024, in Busan, Republic of Korea.

Associated links


Oliver Anderson
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada's Facebook page

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