SEA of Solutions 2019: Advancing partnerships towards less plastic wasted


14 November 2019, UNCC, Bangkok, Thailand: SEA of Solutions 2019 – held from 11-14 November 2019 –  was the first annual partnership week convened by the SEA circular initiative. SEA of Solutions 2019 brought together governments, business leaders, scientists, UN agencies and community groups, to dialogue on solutions for marine plastic pollution.

Over 500 registered participants from more than 40 countries, 115 speakers in 20 sessions and 25 exhibition booths, all highlighted solutions to prevent marine plastic pollution over the four-day event.

The first annual SEA of Solutions event was particularly successful in generating dialogue and promoting opportunities for future collaboration and partnerships. More than 300 organizations, including well over 100 companies, NGOs, governmental bodies, academic, and youth groups sent representatives from across the region to this event, fostering partnerships in the region to combat the transboundary problem of plastic pollution – under the uniting mantra of ‘Together, less plastic wasted’.

Day 1 – Solutions with science
Setting the stage for SEA of Solutions 2019, Day 1: Solutions with science, considered how far the science has taken us – what do we know and what have we achieved? – and what we still need the science to tell us in order to successfully tackle marine plastic pollution. The day primarily consisted of discussions rooted in scientific facts and social science researches, which set the tone for the event as a fact-based and solution-driven four days.

Day 2 – Plasticity Bangkok @ SEA of Solutions – Solutions through innovation and business
Day 2 of SEA of Solutions – Solutions through innovation and business – featured Plasticity – the well- established, business-led and solutions focused plastic circular economy forum. Plasticity was invited to be part of SEA of Solutions 2019, to showcase informed eco-optimism, exciting new circular economic thinking and technological advances. Plasticity Bangkok @SEA of Solutions provided insights into the reality of the plastic value chains in Asia as well as into business-based solutions to make plastic use circular and sustainable. Recognising the societal and environmental damage caused by plastic pollution, business representatives shared their challenges, their commitments and their solutions to tackle plastic waste upstream to prevent it reaching waterways.

Day 3 – Local solutions to plastic pollution
Day 3 – Local solutions to plastic pollution – focused on solutions from communities and the local level, focussing on policies, technologies, research, innovation, actions and initiatives from national and local government, businesses, communities and youth. The day highlighted how communication, education, raising public awareness, and collaboration with civil society groups are key drivers for behavioural change. Local governments can engage communities and consumers in plastic pollution action. Inter-municipal cooperation on waste management is an effective solution, by creating economies of scale and reducing costs beyond major urban areas.

Day 4 – Forum on plastic pollution solutions
The finale of SEA of Solutions 2019 was the Forum for plastic pollution solutions. The Forum saw national government representatives, CEOs, youth and community leaders brought together for four discussion sessions covering key aspects of the plastic pollution conundrum: Trade in plastic waste, packaging and finance. Pledges for ‘less plastic wasted’ The entire event culminated in a series of inspiring pledges, launching further collaboration and action, towards less plastic wasted. Governments pledged to promote ‘international/regional cooperation’, corporations pledged to ‘use more recycled and recyclable materials in packaging’, NGOS and CSOs pledged to ‘advocate and educate for responsible consumption’ whilst working for ‘responsible processing and reuse’. Universities pledged to promote ‘research and innovations in plastic reduction, reuse and recycling’ whilst international organizations pledged to work to ‘close the loop on plastic waste through circular economy approaches’.

The Government of Viet Nam invited SEA circular to hold SEA of Solutions 2020 in Viet Nam. 

More about SEA of Solutions 2019 on the event website
SEA of Solutions summary film
SEA of Solutions 2019 Report

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