Identifying Solutions to the Plastics Challenge

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Identifying Solutions to the Plastics Challenge
Year: 2022
Language: English
A Practitioner's Briefing on Key Approaches

The problem of plastic pollution and the ever-increasing masses of plastic waste is widely acknowledged. It is known to be based on very cheap as well as subsidised feedstock to produce plastic pellets, insufficient waste management, and on the fact that plastic items are too widely used and then too lightly discarded (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 2021). The acknowledgement of the problem peaked at the United Nations Environment Assembly at its fifth session (UNEA 5.2) in Nairobi earlier this year (2022), when the global community issued a resolution to start an intergovernmental negotiation committee (INC) on plastic pollution, with the aim of arriving at a global, legally binding agreement. During the INC process, which is scheduled to be concluded within two years, states will need to decide how best to design an agreement that tackles the entire life cycle of plastics to prevent pollution. While others have written about what a global agreement would need to do and how it shall be designed (e.g., Raubenheimer & Uhro, 2020), this practitioner’s brief will lay out more hands-on solutions to the plastics challenge.