A Plastic Waste Partnership (PWP) has been established under the Basel Convention to mobilise business, government, academic and civil society resources, interests and expertise to improve and promote the environmentally sound management (ESM) of plastic waste at the global, regional and national levels and to prevent and minimize its generation.

Highlights to date 

The first meeting of the working group of the PWP was held from 2 to 5 March 2020 in Beau Vallon, Seychelles. It brought together 66 participants from governments, the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental organizations and Basel and Stockholm Convention regional centres. The working group established four project groups, elected their co-chairs and decided on the activities to be undertaken by the project groups.

Following a call for project proposals, the steering group for pilot projects of the PWP selected 23 pilot projects to be implemented by Governments, the private sector, civil society and the Basel and Stockholm Convention Regional Centres. The pilot projects will be implemented in 2021-2023.

The PWP was launched on Tuesday 12 November 2019 at Palais Eynard, Geneva, sponsored by the Government of Norway and hosted by the City of Geneva. A video about the launch is available below.

The first online consultation of the working group was held on 13 November 2019. It served as an opportunity for the members to discuss topics such as the membership and election of officers, the working modalities of the working group, and the preparations for the first meeting of the working group.

More information on the consultations and meetings is available here.


At its fourteenth meeting, in its decision BC-14/13 , the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, among others:

  • welcomed the proposal to establish the Basel Convention Partnership on Plastic Waste and decided to establish the Partnership and its working group;
  • adopted the terms of reference for the Partnership; and
  • requested the working group to implement its workplan for the biennium 2020−2021.


The goal of the PWP is to improve and promote the ESM of plastic waste at the global, regional and national levels and to prevent and minimize its generation so as to, among other things, reduce significantly and in the long-term eliminate the discharge of plastic waste and microplastics into the environment, in particular the marine environment.

Overall tasks

The overall tasks of the PWP include those listed below. The full list can be found in the terms of reference.

  • Advance the prevention, minimization, collection and environmentally sound management of plastic waste;
  • Undertake pilot projects which support the delivery of the other overall tasks;
  • Collect, analyse and consider possibilities to improve information on transboundary movements of plastic waste;
  • Encourage and promote relevant innovation, research and development.

PWP working group and project groups

The work of the Partnership is overseen by a working group which established four project groups at its first face-to-face meeting as follows:

  1. Plastic waste prevention and minimization
  2. Plastic waste collection, recycling and other recovery including financing and related markets
  3. Transboundary movements of plastic waste
  4. Outreach, education and awareness-raising

Further information on the work of the project groups is available here.

Pilot projects

Pilot projects are to be implemented under the Basel Convention PWP to improve and promote the environmentally sound management (ESM) of plastic waste and to prevent and minimize its generation. To date, 23 pilot projects have been selected for implementation.

Further information on the pilot projects is available here


Membership of the working group is open to Parties to the Basel Convention and others dealing with the different aspects of prevention, minimization and management of plastic waste as well as the Basel and Stockholm Conventions Regional and Coordinating Centres and the Regional Seas Programmes, which have specific expertise and experience required for the activities of the Partnership, and which satisfy certain criteria, as specified in the terms of reference. Further information on membership is available here.


Please contact Susan Wingfield (susan.wingfield@brsmeas.org) or Melisa Lim (melisa.lim@brsmeas.org) for further information on the Partnership.


Listen to the UN podcast that features the Basel Convention plastic waste partnership.

Download the digital calendar, featuring the finalist entries of the PWP photography competition!