Publications

The role of packaging regulations and standards in driving the circular economy

Date: 13 November 2019

Language: English

This publication reviews the development of packaging waste policies and standards as a response to the challenge of the growing crisis of plastics leaking into the environment in South-East Asia (particularly the marine environment). The publication aims to identify the role that policy interventions can play in addressing the growing environmental challenges posed by packaging and packaging waste. It outlines the development of packaging policies, stemming from the need to halt the rapid growth of packaging waste and ensure recovery of packaging material for circular applications. It highlights the growth in total waste generated and inadequacy / inability of existing waste infrastructure to properly tackle the increasing proportions of packaging waste. packaging policy interventions to address this challenge. It explores the regulatory landscape in each of the ten Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in light of the global policies and the efforts to address the issue of packaging waste. It advocates that packaging policies are required to address the intersecting challenges of increasing packaging waste - plastics packaging waste in particular – and the limitations of existing municipal waste management infrastructures.

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Marine plastic litter in East Asian Seas: Gender, human rights and economic dimensions

Date: 11 November 2019

Language: English

This report provides insights on the gender, human rights and economic dimensions of marine plastic litter to inform project design and activities and to ensure a fair, equitable and ethically-sound course of action, that leads to more effective, appropriate and sustainable outcomes in the longer term. The analysis highlights initial findings and existing knowledge gaps and provides recommendations for more equitable decision making, while recognizing the need to strengthen the evidence base on issues discussed.

This study was prepared by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) under the SEA circular initiative implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA), with support from the Swedish Government.

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State of plastics waste in Asia and the Pacific – Issues, challenges and circular economic opportunities

Date: 20 August 2019

Language: English

The scope of this report from the UN Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) includes a description and evaluation of the state of the whole of value chain related to plastic in Asia and the Pacific region. It covers the material cycle of plastic, including production, consumption, waste generation, segregation, treatment and disposal. The key pressures due to plastic wastes are discussed. The report presents ways forward on how Asia and the Pacific countries should address the plastics economy as a way to advance circular economy principles, to work towards achieving clean land, clean water and clean air in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development / SDGs and the Habitat III New Urban Agenda.

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Addressing the challenge of marine plastic litter using circular economy methods

Date: 28 June 2019

Language: English

This working paper from UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) considers the opportunities for designing out waste to retain plastics within the economy and regaining the value embodied in plastics that leaked out of the economy as waste. It reviews continuing efforts for recovering plastics already in oceans, in particular in services, on beaches, ports and coastal waters. It provides strategies to consider, in promoting a circular plastics economy and ending the global marine plastic litter challenge

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Guidelines for the monitoring and assessment of plastic litter in the ocean

Date: 13 March 2019

Language: English

These guidelines from the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific  Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) provides recommendations, advice and practical guidance, for the establishment of programmes to monitor and assess the distribution and abundance of plastic litter, also referred to as plastic debris, in the ocean. The intention is to promote a more harmonized approach to the design of sampling programmes, to inform the establishment of national and regional field monitoring programmes.

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Mapping of global plastics value chain and plastics losses to the environment: With a particular focus on marine environment

Date: 2018

Language: English

This mapping report from the UN Environment Programme provides a comprehensive global mapping of plastic losses to the environment throughout the plastic value chain using 2015 as the reference year. This mapping covers plastics production and processing, use of plastics or plastic containing products, and disposal of the products. It differentiates 23 types of plastics and 13 plastic applications, including division between macro- and micro plastics (including microbeads and microfibers).

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Regional seas follow up and review of the ocean related sustainable development goals (SDGs): Case studies supplementary annex – UN Environment Regional Seas Reports and Studies no 209

Date: 2018

Language: English

These case studies from from the UN Environment Programme complement the “Regional Seas Follow Up and Review of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Conceptual Guidelines”, which provides good examples and practical guidance to enhance the role and contribution of regional seas to the SDG follow-up and review process, in line with UN General Assembly and UNEA resolutions and Global Meetings for the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans. These case studies enable more in-depth analysis for a number of regional seas, with specific suggestions and actions for the future strengthened reporting on the SDGs.

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Addressing marine plastics: A systemic approach – Stocktaking Report

Date: 12 November 2018

Language: English

This stocktaking report from the UN Environment Programme takes stock of the extent of knowledge on plastics in the marine environment. It provides a high level summary of the available literature on the key sources and locations of these plastics, along with an analysis of the problem products and polymers making up marine plastics and microplastics. It also looks at what is currently being done to address the problem of marine plastics and summarises existing policy responses in order to lay the groundwork for future action.

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Review and analysis of floating marine litter prediction models in the NOWPAP region (2018)

Date: 18 June 2018

Language: English

This publication from the UN Environment Programme shares information on prediction models that have been developed in NOWPAP member states, in order to analyze the behavior of floating marine litter, and the parameterization of floating marine litter characteristics. The main objective of this report is to establish a plan for future development of a regional prediction model, which could be applied to predict the behaviors of floating marine litter, in order to eventually be able to identify the trajectory, support the reduction of, and develop prevention measures against floating marine litter in the region.

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The state of plastics: World Environment Day Outlook 2018

Date: 01 June 2018

Language: English

This report from UN Environment Programme for World Environment Day 2018 covers the scale of the plastics challenge. It covers the role of governments, private sector and communities in responding to the challenge. It demonstrates how all elements of society have a role to play in exploring opportunities for reducing conventional plastic use and replacing it with alternative materials or biomass-based biopolymers. There is a need for innovation and entrepreneurship. Governments and individuals are encouraged to raise awareness about the impact plastics have on society and the environment, and to seek to educate people about the potential of alternative materials

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Plastics and shallow water coral reefs: Synthesis of the science for policy makers

Date: 11 March 2018

Language: English

This brief from the UN Environment Programme provides policy and management recommendations for addressing and reducing the impacts of plastics on shallow water coral reefs, based on current scientific knowledge. The brief contributes to achieving the related global, national and regional goals and targets, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The brief promotes integrated planning and management, awareness-raising, and other efforts to improve and standardize the monitoring of plastics on reefs. It is primarily aimed at national and state policy makers.

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Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean

Date: 13 February 2015

Language: English

This report led by Jenna R. Jambeck, links worldwide data on solid waste, population density, and economic status, and indicates the mass of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean. Population size and the quality of waste management systems largely determine which countries contribute the greatest mass of uncaptured waste available to become plastic marine debris. Without waste management infrastructure improvements, the cumulative quantity of plastic waste available to enter the ocean from land is predicted to increase by an order of magnitude by 2025.

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