Stopping Global Plastic Pollution

Stopping Global Plastic Pollution

The Case for an International Convention
03. Apr. 2017 by Nils Simon, Maro Luisa Schulte
For free
Place of Publication: Berlin
Date of Publication: March 2017
Number of Pages: 52
License: CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0
ISBN / DOI: 978-3-86928-159-9

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Plastics have boosted our economy because they are highly flexible, durable, and cheap. However, their massive use has created an enormous global problem with environmental, economic, social, and health repercussions. Existing international measures to deal with plastic pollution are insufficient to successfully addressing the problem. So legal provisions banning the dumping of plastic waste at sea for example have not been adequate to reduce the amount of plastic waste that reaches the marine environment. Without large-scale efforts targeting plastic waste at its land-based sources, the problem will get worse. The only viable solution to the problem would therefore be to stop plastic waste from entering the oceans in the first place. That is what the authors Nils Simon and Maro Luisa Schulte propose in this paper: To launch negotiations on a plastics convention and begin to end this irresponsible disaster.


Table of contents:


1 Introduction
2 The challenge of plastic pollution and the case for a multilateral convention

  • 2.1 Sources of plastic pollution
  • 2.2 A transnational problem that gets bigger the smaller it becomes
  • 2.3 Costs of inaction and the benefits of addressing plastic waste
  • 2.4 Sustainable plastics? On the role of technological innovation

3 Existing frameworks: Taking stock and identifying gaps

  • 3.1 Marine-based treaties and voluntary frameworks
  • 3.2 The Basel Convention on Hazardous Waste and voluntary land-based frameworks
  • 3.3 Regional agreements and subnational efforts
  • 3.4 Strengths, weaknesses and gaps of existing institutions

4 Core elements of a plastics convention: Binding goals and flexible means

  • 4.1 A binding goal to eliminate plastic pollution
  • 4.2 National implementation plans
  • 4.3 Supporting capacity development and innovation measures
  • 4.4 Stringent follow-up and review
  • 4.5 Meaningful multi-stakeholder involvement

5 Recommendations on commencing negotiations and complementary measures

  • 5.1 Forging a movement
  • 5.2 Getting a mandate to launch negotiations

6 Conclusion: Towards a global plastics convention?

List of Abbreviations
List of Interviews


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