Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter
21 August 2020 |
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UPDATED on 21 August 2020
Marine litter is a growing global challenge, affecting more and more marine ecosystems and fisheries as well as the tourism sector. Plastics, for example in packaging and single-use products such as straws and plastic bags, contribute to a huge amount of waste in the sea. East and Southeast Asia belong to the major hotspot regions worldwide for plastic waste leakage into the ocean and its potential impacts on biodiversity. In addition, about half of global plastics are produced in Asia.
Governments, businesses, academia, civil society and consumers increasingly recognise the need for action. Initiatives have emerged, for instance, at the level of the G20 and the UN, by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and in the EU with, amongst others, the European Strategy for Plastics. Continuous exchange and deepened cooperation between the EU and partner countries in East and Southeast Asia thus provide mutual opportunities.
To support a transition towards a circular economy for plastics in East and Southeast Asia to reduce plastic waste leakage into the sea. In a circular economy, resources are used and managed in a more efficient and sustainable manner through the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle. With these efforts, the project contributes to strengthening the cooperation between the EU and seven countries in the region in the areas of circular economy, plastic waste management and marine litter reduction.
The project provides support and advice to its political partners and implements activities in the following areas:
Management of plastic waste along the waste hierarchy, including extended producer responsibility and deposit return schemes for packaging and plastic products;
Sustainable consumption and production of plastic, for example, design for reuse and recyclability, as well as alternatives to plastics;
Reduction of litter from sea-based sources, for example, through port reception facilities for waste from ships and fishing-for-litter schemes.
In addition, the project supports awareness raising about sustainable consumption and production of plastic and enhances policy dialogues between the EU, regional organisations and partner countries concerning plastic production and management. In Japan and Singapore, the project focuses on policy dialogue as well as on enhancing green procurement policies, processes and cooperation.
Pilot projects in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will test new approaches or up- scaled best practices for plastic waste management, sustainable consumption and production of plastic or litter reduction from sea-based sources. Knowledge exchange is fostered, for example, through workshops and conferences, webinars, study trips and communication campaigns.
China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam