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SEA circular Project

Solving Plastic Pollution at Source

Newsletter - January 2024

As we start the New Year, we are thrilled to reconnect with you and share the exciting developments. In 2023, the SEA circular Project aligned its work on gender and human rights-based approach, enhanced collaboration with the informal sector for better management of plastic value chain and build foundation for marine litter monitoring in the South-East Asia region. The project, under the broader "One Plastics Initiative", organized technical regional knowledge sharing sessions for Member States, ahead of the Third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for an International Legally Binding Instrument on Plastic Pollution.


Looking ahead to 2024, our calendar is brimming with exciting activities, including SEA of Solutions 2024, Plastic Action Week, National Consultation/Workshops, regional capacity building and knowledge sharing on topics such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Reuse Schemes and more. These endeavors align with our overarching goal—to contribute to a healthier environment in South-East Asia.


We extend our heartfelt gratitude for being an essential part of the SEA circular Project journey. We eagerly anticipate the ongoing collaboration in this crucial year. Thank you for your continued support! 

Key Highlights

  • SEA of Solutions 2024: Help us shape the event!
  • Unlocking Solutions for Plastic Pollution in South-East Asia: A Digital Resource Deck
  • The role of women in the informal sector and their contributions to prevent plastic pollution
  • Business models that integrate a human rights-based approach along the plastic value chain
  • Marine litter monitoring: Advancing data analysis and data comparability 

SEA of Solutions 2024: Help us shape the event!

SEA of Solutions (SoS) is an annual partnership event for South-East Asian countries towards solving plastic pollution at source. Since 2019, SoS has served as a platform that enables sharing of information, best practices, meaningful dialogue, facilitate collaboration and partnership opportunities in promoting circularity in the plastic value chain among stakeholders. SEA of Solutions is convened by  SEA circular, an initiative by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), supported by the Government of Sweden.


Take a moment to share your inputs to this survey, to help us shape the agenda of the next SEA of Solutions conference (September 2024). 

Unlocking Solutions for Plastic Pollution in South-East Asia: A Digital Resource Deck

The SEA circular Project has launched a comprehensive digital resource deck to enhance accessibility to information on marine litter and plastic pollution in the South-East Asia region. This compilation includes 18 research and assessment reports, providing a solid foundation for in-depth knowledge on tackling plastic pollution. Complementing these reports are 23 case studies offering real-world applications, and 21 practical tools and manuals for actionable solutions. To provide a global perspective, the resource deck includes 6 detailed project country profiles, showcasing how plastic pollution manifests in different geographic and cultural contexts. Additionally, 14 informative videos cater to diverse learning preferences, offering engaging supplements to the written content.


Whether you're a policymaker, activist, or concerned citizen, this resource deck serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding, addressing, and mitigating the impacts of plastic pollution in South-East Asia.

The role of women in the informal sector and their contributions to prevent plastic pollution

Vietnam, fueled by its dedication to environmental preservation and gender equality, has outlined a comprehensive “Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Maritime Economy” and the “National Action Plan on the Management of Plastic Waste in the Ocean until 2030”.  Aligned with Vietnam's National Action Plan, the partnership between UNEP through SEA circular Project  and Vietnam National University seeks to enhance capacity and support the plan's implementation through three activities: i) conducting research on relevant laws and policies for implementing the National Action Plan; ii) organizing training workshops to promote extended producer responsibility and the role of women in the informal plastic waste treatment sector; and iii) assessing the feasibility of integrating and developing the content of marine pollution, plastic waste, and management as a subject in the Master of Law's degree.


The training workshops were held in Hanoi and Hai Phong cities to raise awareness among stakeholders.

Business models that integrate a human rights-based approach along the plastic value chain

A recent UNEP report suggests that a transformative reduction of 80% in plastic pollution by 2040 is achievable through market shifts emphasizing "reuse, recycling, and diversifying alternatives" alongside policy changes. Businesses, especially in Asia, play a key role; adopting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and a human rights-based approach in the plastic value chain is vital for sustainable solutions. A panel discussion session on "Plastic Pollution in Asia" at Corporate Sustainability and Environmental Rights in Asia conference organized by UNEP’s SEA circular Project and UNDP emphasized this, fostering dialogue among businesses, government, and civil society for impactful change.


This collaboration brings together stakeholders from the private sector, academia, development partners, and civil society to discuss challenges and solutions for a rights-based approach to addressing plastic pollution in Asia.


Click here to see the event at a glimpse. Click here to read the event report.

Marine litter monitoring: Advancing data analysis and data comparability

The Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP MALI), established by the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), underscores the critical importance of monitoring and assessing marine litter to understand its status, trends, and impacts. Recognizing the necessity for robust and harmonized monitoring efforts, COBSEA countries have embraced the Regional Guidance on Harmonized National Marine Litter Monitoring that developed under SEA circular Project.


A recent workshop delved into effective plastic pollution management and evidence-based marine litter strategies. The workshop underscored the pivotal role of data analysis in evaluating policy effectiveness, advocating for the Before–After–Control–Impact (BACI) design for monitoring.


to the UNEP’s One Plastics Initiative* Newsletter!

We are excited to announce the launch of the One Plastics Initiative Newsletter!

Our quarterly newsletter will inform you of timely updates on the latest science and data, publications, compelling stories, engaging videos, upcoming events, collaborative partnership opportunities, and more regarding the One Plastics Initiative's global, regional, and national efforts.

We invite you to sign up for our newsletter here.

*The One Plastics Initiative consolidates all UNEP's plastic-related projects, activities, actions, and results into a unified programme, aiming to lead and implement a system-wide transformation towards a circular economy of plastics. Click here to learn more about the Initiative.

About SEA circular project

The SEA circular Project – Reducing marine litter by addressing the management of the plastic value chain in South-East Asia is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), with funding support from the Government of Sweden. SEA circular aims to reduce and prevent plastic pollution and its impact by working with governments, businesses, civil society, academia, and international partners. The initiative promotes market-based solutions and enabling policies to transform plastic value-chain management, strengthens the science base for informed decision making, creates outreach and awareness. The project leverages COBSEA’s regional mechanism to tackle the transboundary challenge of marine litter in a harmonized manner.


Contact Us

Website: www.sea-circular.org  |   Email: sea-circular@un.org

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