Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Call for submissions

Towards the development of a Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture

The agricultural sector has witnessed a significant increase in the use of plastics, with an estimated 12.5 million tonnes of plastic products being utilized annually in plant and animal production[1]. Plastics have brought about numerous benefits in food production, such as improved crop yield and efficient water use. However, due to improper management and lack of access to adequate end-of-life management and infrastructure, plastic products used in agriculture are often discarded or abandoned in the environment, leading to potential harm to human health and the environment.

In 2021, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) conducted an in-depth assessment[2] that shed light on both the advantages and challenges posed by plastics in agriculture. The study emphasized the importance of striking a balance between the benefits and trade-offs of plastics used in agriculture, and highlighted the urgent need for global action, improved governance, and inter-sectoral collaboration to address the multifaceted issues surrounding plastic use in agrifood systems.

In line with the recommendations of FAO Council[3]  FAO is working on the development of the Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture (VCoC). The aim of the VCoC is to provide a policy framework in support of a sustainable use of plastics in agriculture and their alternatives, by assisting policy makers in creating and strengthening policies and strategies, and by providing the other stakeholders along the agri-food value chain recommendations and best practices.

The VCoC will address the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture in the context of agrifood systems transformation towards more efficiency, inclusivity, resilience, and sustainability. It will aim to better balance the benefits and trade-offs of the use of plastics in agriculture to contribute to food security, food safety, nutrition, human health, environmental sustainability and related dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic and environmental).

The consultation process for the development of the Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture

To inform the development of the VCoC, FAO is carrying out inclusive and geographically representative consultations with a wide range of stakeholders. The consultation process included an Informal Briefing for FAO Members which took place in May 2023, a Global Expert Meeting held in June 2023, and six Regional Multi-Stakeholder Consultations taking place between September and November 2023.

This Call for submissions has been envisioned as a key component of the consultation process to allow a wide range of participants around a globe and across sectors to contribute their inputs towards the development of the VCoC. This call will remain available throughout the duration of the Regional Consultations, offering participants a chance to extend the discussion on the VCoC development and share their views and suggestions online through the FSN Forum.

FAO's Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) invites stakeholders to share good practices and lessons learned on the sustainable use of plastics and agriculture and their alternatives.

You are welcome to respond to any of the questions in the submission template, as per your interest and expertise. Your responses, alongside the feedback we gather during our ongoing webinar consultations, will help inform the first full draft of the VCoC.

Please use this submission template (available in English) to provide your feedback by answering questions in any of the six UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese). 

To take part in this Call for submissions, please get registered or login to your account on the FSN Forum; download the submission template and upload the completed submission form in the box “Post your contribution” on this webpage. For any technical support regarding downloading or uploading the submission form, please send an email to [email protected].

The Call for Submissions is open until November 7, 2023.

We look forward to receiving your valuable input and learning from your experiences.


  • Lev Neretin, Environment Workstream Lead, Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment, FAO
  • Alashiya Gordes, Natural Resources Officer, OCB, FAO
  • Marilique Nijmeijer, Associate Professional Officer, OCB, FAO
  • Matteo Zandonella Bolco, Programme Management Specialist, OCB, FAO
  • Giulia Carcasci, Agricultural Plastics and Sustainability Specialist, OCB, FAO


[1] FAO, 2021. Assessment of agricultural plastics and their sustainability. A call for action. Rome.

[2] FAO, 2021. Assessment of agricultural plastics and their sustainability. A call for action. Rome.

[3] FAO, 2022. Report of the Council of FAO. Hundred and Seventy-first Session

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

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Dear contributors,

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all those who have contributed to the consultation towards the development of a Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture.

We received a total of 107 contributions from 49 countries, originating from a wide range of experts from national governments, academia, private sector and civil society. These diverse and insightful contributions will play a pivotal role in guiding FAO as we embark on crafting the initial draft of the Voluntary Code of Conduct.

We deeply appreciate the time and effort you dedicated to providing your comments, as they are essential for ensuring the legitimacy, scientific rigor, and integration of a broad spectrum of knowledge and expertise into FAO's recommendations.

Thank you for your significant contributions.


Lev Neretin, FAO Environment Team Lead, co-facilitator of this Call for submissions

Kristina Thygesen


Dear Giulia,

I hope you are doing fine and that the Code of Conduct is moving forward. Sorry for the delay – please find attached our suggestions.


Kristina Thygesen (Norway) and Elaine Baker (Australia)


Luca Nizzetto

Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA)

Dear Giulia

Thanks for the kind extension you gave me to reply to this survey.

I took the chance to properly assimilate inputs from a range of network I created in Norway and Europe. The document became a little longer, but it reflects the indications of multiple experts I am in a constructive dialogue with.

I hope this can give some useful element. We would be interested in running a new and more complete scientific analysis of SH positioning.


Luca Nizzetto, PhD, 

Leading scientist in the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA),

Co-founder in the International Knowledge Hub Against Plastic Pollution


CYMG Plastic Action Working Group Facilitators, CYMG Global Focal Points

Children and Youth Major Group (CYMG) to UNEP

Good day, 

We the Plastic Action working group of Children and Youth Major Group to UNEP have been having technical issues on submitting the FAO VCoC doc we worked on since Monday 6th November 2023, please is there anyway this could be uploaded on our behalf.

Thank you for the consideration and late reply. 

Best regards, 

Bawa Arab

Thematic Facilitator Plastic Action WG 



on the behalf of my team, i am sharing my views on VCOC. and will be happy to contribute in future too

Not to much work is done on Microplastic in Pakistan but globally it is know issue now, i am very excite to see your outcomes  after this. It is very nice to contribute in this survey. please find the attach file.


Amna Zia

Teacher/Research Assistant 

Saline Agriculture Research Center

Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences

University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.     

Dear Sir,

I am herewith submitting the brief input on plastic use in rubber plantations in India.  Please consider the details are enclosed separately.

With regards,

Sincerely yours,

Dr G. P. Rao,

Former Senior Scientist,

RRII, Rubber Board,

Kottayam, Kerala, India.

Dear Moderator,
While I am waiting for my registration's approval in order to upload the contribution of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) to the Voluntary Code of Conduct on the sustainable use of plastics in agriculture, I wanted to make sure you received our submission today, within the deadline.
Please find our contribution attached.
We remain at your disposal for any further information.

Giulia Carlini

Senior Attorney | Environmental Health Program

Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL),