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SPE Granted Accreditation by United Nations Environment Assembly

SPE recently announced its accreditation with the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). This noteworthy distinction establishes SPE as a primary constituent within UNEA’s esteemed scientific and technological community, which is shared by only eighty-seven organizations globally, and just twenty-five within the United States.

SPE President Conor Carlin expressed his enthusiasm about this significant milestone, stating, “This accreditation marks a pivotal moment for SPE and its stakeholders. As a science- and engineering-based community, SPE now has an opportunity to influence global environmental policies on plastics based on objective science. This reinforces our commitment to truly sustainable practices within the industry.”

The UNEA accreditation provides SPE with observer status to the Assembly, enabling the society to actively participate in the critical work of both UNEA and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This involvement places SPE at the forefront of global environmental policy development, specifically addressing the pressing issue of end-of-life management for plastics.

In 2022, UNEP convened an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution. The committee's mandate is to develop an international legally binding instrument to tackle plastic pollution, with a comprehensive approach covering the entire life cycle of plastics—from production and design to disposal.

As a newly accredited member, SPE is now a fully participating member of this Committee. This status allows SPE to participate in various regional and public meetings, to submit written contributions to UNEA working documents, and to circulate written statements to governments via the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (CPR).

“While this a significant step for SPE, it is only the first step in a longer journey that includes continued dialogue and engagement with a variety of groups in a global assembly,” says Carlin. “We are grateful for the opportunity to offer our expertise and to contribute to the scientific underpinning of future plastic treaties.”

President Carlin invites all SPE members who wish to engage in UNEP’s work through SPE to sign up for participation. By signing up, members will:

  • Receive exclusive updates on UNEP’s work through SPE’s official representatives.

  • Have the opportunity to provide science-based input on relevant deliberations.

  • Participate in the crafting of statements to UNEP on behalf of SPE and its members.

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