Existing production and consumption patterns in Southeast Asian countries are mostly based on a linear raw materials economy in which plastic materials are poorly managed and disposed as waste after a short period of use. The widespread use of single-use plastic (SUP) contributes significantly to the pollution of water and sea. Low raw material prices, counterproductive systems, a lack of awareness and missing alternatives are the main reasons for the rapidly growing amount of disposable plastic. Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian policy makers have recognised that the introduction of circular economy principles in production and trade along the waste hierarchy (i.e. reduce, reuse, recycle) can be an essential solution, although the focus on prevention strategies has only recently become a political focus. The project responds to Malaysia’s upcoming 12th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and Thailand’s Plastic Roadmap (2018-2030), which aims at reducing or banning SUP products by replacing these with durable, repairable, and more environmentally friendly alternatives. In Indonesia, the project works in alignment with its National Plastics Action Plan (NPAP).
The aim of the project is to reduce single-use plastic waste with a clear focus on upstream strategies of prevention and preparation for re-use. To this end, the project employs a blended approach, consisting of policy advice on circular economy and extended producer responsibility (EPR) approaches (Malaysia only), capacity development for key stakeholders, local government pilot activities and support for innovative business models tackling SUP prevention. The project contributes directly to the Sustainable Development Goal to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns (SDG 12), especially Target 12.5 “By 2030,substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse”.
CAP SEA is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and is part of the GIZ global project to support the “Export Initiative for Green Technologies”.