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Solutions from the One Planet network to curb plastic pollution

  • Published on March 21, 2023

This compendium of solutions to curb plastic pollution was developed in collaboration with the stakeholders of the One Planet network (Consumer Information, Lifestyles and Education, Public Procurement and Tourism programmes). The examples provide some concrete illustrations in line with the recommendations from the UNEP spotlight report "Turning off the Tap: How the world can end plastic pollution and create a circular economy", and in particular around:

  • Reliable sustainability information within existing standards, labels, and claims
  • Triggers for behaviour change, including nudging strategies and awareness campaigns
  • Creation of markets for sustainable solutions and concrete pathways for governments to lead by example using sustainable procurement practices
  • Implementation of circular economy of plastics in the tourism sector, including through direct engagement of businesses towards reduction of plastics pollution.

Additionally, the present compendium builds on findings from previous reports by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Marine Plastics Project and brings forward solutions to address plastic pollution as assessed in the 2021 report From Pollution to Solution - A global assessment of marine litter and plastic pollution and demonstrates of how a multi-stakeholder network can mobilize action to agilely deliver concrete outputs and a practical way to implement requests by Member States.  

The challenges around plastic pollution result from unsustainable consumption and production patterns and inadequate waste management, compounded by increased demand for single use plastics induced, among others, by the coronavirus global pandemic (COVID-19).1 The 2022 New Plastics Economy Global Commitment Progress Report demonstrates that in 2021 the use of plastic packaging increased by 2,5%, bringing us back to the levels of 2018.

In this context, it becomes clear that only a systemic change in the ways we produce and consume can reverse the current trends. Circular economy approaches can support driving this systemic change. The Plastic Waste Amendments to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes recommends actions that governments, business and individuals can take to facilitate upstream and systemic solutions to address plastic pollution.

A coordinated multistakeholder action is needed, particularly by addressing use and consumption of plastic packaging - a major source of marine litter. 

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