Tagged on: plastics

Foresight Briefs
Marine Plastics Litter and Microplastics - Foresight Brief No. 002 - September 2017
United Nations Environment Programme

The global production of plastics has increased from 1.5 million tons in 1950s to about 300 million tons currently, at an average rate of 4 per cent per annum and is expected to continue growing (Boucher and Friot 2017). About 50 per cent of the plastics produced is for single use, and the literature estimates that 8 million tons (2.5 per cent) of the plastic produced are leaked into the oceans annually (PlasticsEurope 2016).


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2017
Reports and Books
Marine litter legislation: A toolkit for policymakers
United Nations Environment Programme; Environmental Law Institute

Far too much of the 300 million tonnes of plastic produced every year finds its way into our oceans, food chains and ecosystems, damaging our health in the process. Well-designed laws can help reverse this global trend. This report provides an overview of legislation that countries have implemented to tackle marine litter, focusing in particular on upstream solutions.


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2016
Reports and Books
Marine Plastic Debris and Microplastics: Global Lessons and Research to Inspire Action and Guide Policy Change
United Nations Environment Programme

Plastic litter in the ocean can be considered a ‘common concern of humankind’. This study summarizes the state of our knowledge on sources, fate and effect of marine plastics debris and microplastics, and describes approaches and potential solutions to address this multifaceted issue. The study is divided into four main sections: Background, Evidence Base, Taking Action, and Conclusions and Key Research Needs.


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2016
Reports and Books
Major International Waste Management Programmes and Projects - Prepared for: Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM)
United Nations Environment Programme

The purpose of this report is to complement supply with the demand in waste management services around the world, to provide stakeholders opportunities for projects partnerships and to harmonize efforts and avoid duplication. The report highlights projects of international organizations and UN Bodies with focus on, but not necessarily limited to, waste management.


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2016
Reports and Books
Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter: Misconceptions, concerns and impacts on marine environments
United Nations Environment Programme

This briefing paper provides a concise summary of some of the key issues surrounding the biodegradability of plastics in the oceans. It explores whether the adoption of biodegradable plastics will reduce the impact of marine plastics overall. The paper also addresses the lack of public knowledge about biodegradable plastics. Moreover, it the raises concern over the labeling of products as “biodegradable” as it may result in more littering behaviors due to a perceived technical fix that removes responsibility from individuals


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2015
Reports and Books
Global Waste Management Outlook
United Nations Environment Programme, International Waste Management Association

The Global Waste Management Outlook, a collective effort of the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Waste Management Association, is a pioneering scientific global assessment on the state of waste management and a call for action to the international community. Prepared as a follow up to the Rio+20 Summit and as a response to UNEP Governing Council decision GC 27/12, the document establishes the rationale and the tools for taking a holistic approach towards waste management and recognizing waste and resource management as a significant contributor to sustainable development and climate change mitigation. The Outlook is primarily focused on the ‘governance’ issues which need to be addressed to establish a sustainable solution – including the regulatory and other policy instruments, the partnerships and the financing models. Broad in scope and global in coverage, the Outlook includes a series of Topic Sheets and case studies addressing specific issues and illustrating featured initiatives. This document provides an inspiring possible way forward on waste management, drawing conclusions and making recommendations to assist policy makers and practitioners to develop local solutions for waste management. To complement the Sustainable Development Goals of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Outlook sets forth Global Waste Management Goals and a Global Call to Action to achieve those goals.


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2015
Reports and Books
Single-Use Plastics: A Roadmap for Sustainability
United Nations Environment Programme

The benefits of plastic are undeniable. The material is cheap, lightweight and easy to make. These qualities have led to a boom in the production of plastic over the past century. This trend will continue as global plastic production skyrockets over the next 10 to 15 years. We are already unable to cope with the amount of plastic waste we generate, unless we rethink the way we manufacture, use and manage plastics. Ultimately, tackling one of the biggest environmental scourges of our time will require governments to regulate, businesses to innovate and individuals to act.
This paper sets out the latest thinking on how we can achieve this. It looks at what governments, businesses and individuals have achieved at national and sub-national levels to curb the consumption of single-use plastics. It offers lessons that may be useful for policymakers who are considering regulating the production and use of single-use plastics.


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Reports and Books
Waste Management Outlook for Mountain Regions: Sources and Solutions
United Nations Environment Programme, International Environment Technology Centre, GRID-Arendal, International Solid Waste Association

Mountains play an essential role in supplying water, energy, food and other services to millions of people living in the mountains and downstream. Ensuring the continued supply of these services has never been more important. However, many mountain regions are experiencing a growing solid waste problem, from ever-expanding urban sprawls and cities, increasing consumption patterns, existing and past mining operations, tourism activities and practises of illegal dumping. The good news is that there are many options available to prevent and manage waste in mountain environments, in ways that protect mountain ecosystems and people, and prevent problems from migrating downstream. This report highlights both the challenges and the solutions for sound waste management in mountain regions.


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Reports and Books
Small Island Developing States Waste Management Outlook
United Nations Environment Programme

The Small Island Developing States Waste Management Outlook provides an assessment of solid, liquid and gaseous waste generated in 58 Small Island Developing States. It also recommends a series of initiatives that can be adopted by islands to put in place cost-effective waste management systems that protect land, sea and air from pollution. The publication highlights the many gains that can be realized through effective waste management systems.


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Reports and Books
Exploring the Potential for Adopting Alternative Materials to Reduce Marine Plastic Litter
United Nations Environment Programme

This report aims to provide representative examples of some of the many alternative materials that are either available commercially, or are in development. It is intended to encourage entrepreneurs, ‘startups’ and established businesses - as well as researchers in the fields of materials science, engineering, agronomy and related fields – to explore more effective and sustainable products and practices. The
overall aim should be to reduce society’s dependence on the unnecessary use of plastics, especially from fossil-fuel sources.


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