The Collaborative Actions for Single-Use Plastic Prevention in South-East Asia (CAP SEA)
UPDATED on 2 July 2021
Existing production and consumption patterns in Southeast Asian countries are mostly based on a linear raw materials economy in which plastic materials are poorly managed and disposed as waste after a short period of use. The widespread use of single-use plastic (SUP) contributes significantly to the pollution of water and sea. Low raw material prices, counterproductive systems, a lack of awareness and missing alternatives are the main reasons for the rapidly growing amount of disposable plastic. Thai, Malaysian and Indonesian policy makers have recognised that the introduction of circular economy principles in production and trade along the waste hierarchy (i.e. reduce, reuse, recycle) can be an essential solution, although the focus on prevention strategies has only recently become a political focus. The project responds to Malaysia’s upcoming 12th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and Thailand’s Plastic Roadmap (2018-2030), which aims at reducing or banning SUP products by replacing these with durable, repairable, and more environmentally friendly alternatives. In Indonesia, the project works in alignment with its National Plastics Action Plan (NPAP).
The aim of the project is to reduce single-use plastic waste with a clear focus on upstream strategies of prevention and preparation for re-use. To this end, the project employs a blended approach, consisting of policy advice on circular economy and extended producer responsibility (EPR) approaches (Malaysia only), capacity development for key stakeholders, local government pilot activities and support for innovative business models tackling SUP prevention. The project contributes directly to the Sustainable Development Goal to ensure sustainable production and consumption patterns (SDG 12), especially Target 12.5 “By 2030,substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse”.
CAP SEA is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and is part of the GIZ global project to support the “Export Initiative for Green Technologies”.
Institutional Framework: We advise and support our local partners and other key players in the development of Circular Economy Regulatory frameworks and strategies, recycling markets and implementation of systems for extended producer responsibility (in Malaysia). Furthermore, we advise on product-related environmental protection such as the development of eco-designs, guidelines and material efficiency criteria. These can then be certified with eco-labels and supported through sustainable public procurement.
New Business Solutions: We support Thai, Malaysian and international partners in the development of innovative and sustainable business models for SUP prevention and/or preparation for reuse.
Pilot Projects: We design and implement pilot projects aiming at SUP reduction with local municipalities.
Knowledge Management: We analyse lessons learnt and disseminate best practices to relevant institutions.
RESULTS SO FAR
We institutionalised multi stakeholder working groups on EPR (Malaysia only), Eco Design, Design for Recycling and local pilot projects in Thailand and Malaysia.
We developed a comprehensive policy recommendation paper on upstream measures for single-use plastic and packaging reduction for Thailand which is undergoing stakeholder consultation.
We published background studies together with our partner, Öko Institut e.V., on upstream SUP policy options (Design for Recycling, Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics, Material Choices for environment-friendly packaging design, Recycled Content in Packaging Applications, Considerations for Packaging Classification).
We held 7 dialogue/ knowledge exchange events with international experts and stakeholders from South-East Asia on all topics covered through the project.
We conducted 6 in-depth trainings on key policy instruments and tools for upstream SUP prevention.
We set up 2 reuse startups, with our partner Enviu, which provide reuse solutions to the Malaysian market (Tapauware: a reusable food container for food delivery, FlexiFill: a refill solution for household cleaning products).
We work with local municipalities in Thailand (Phuket), Malaysia (Shah Alam) and Indonesia (Jakarta) to design and implement pilot projects aiming at SUP reduction. We completed baseline assessment and stakeholder engagements with the communities of our pilot project municipalities.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand
Thailand: National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA)
Malaysia: Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office (EPU)
Indonesia: Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Investment
August 2019 – March 2023
Interview highlights upstream solutions to reduce single-use plastics in Thailand
Let’s watch this interview how Christoffer Brick, Project Lead, The Collaborative Actions for Single-Use Plastic Prevention in South-East Asia (CAP SEA), is working with government agencies, standardisation bodies, industry representatives and other relevant stakeholders to radically reduce single use plastics at the source and introduce Design for Recycling and reuse through policy advice, capacity building and supporting new innovative business model in Thailand, among others.