Circular economy measures to keep plastics and their value in the economy, avoid waste and reduce marine litter
We live in the plastic age (the “Plasticene”), producing 300 million tonnes of plastic every year globally, 5-15 million tonnes of which flow into already polluted oceans. Plastics remain key materials in the global economy, but low rates of collection, reuse and recycling, emissions of microplastic from product wear and tear, and often insufficient disposal measures are leading to far-reaching environmental, health, social and economic impacts. The costs of inaction are unacceptably high. Globally there is a growing recognition of the need to address marine litter and rethink our approach to plastics within the economy. Measures associated with the circular economy, including product design, innovation, market based instruments, waste management infrastructure, capacity building, political activism and awareness raising can simultaneously keep the value of plastic in the economy and out of the oceans.
The G20 (or Group of Twenty ) is an international forum for the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies that promotes high-level discussion of policy issues - such as the circular economy. The G20 Insights Platform offers policy proposals to the G20. It is a new initiative of the Think 20 Engagement Group. Dr. Heather Leslie of the Dept. of Environment and Health collaborated with the Institute for European Environmental Policy IEEP (Brussels), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (UK), UNEP (Nairobi) and Iframer (France) to produce this policy report entitled Circular economy measures to keep plastics and their value in the economy, avoid waste and reduce marine litter as part of the “Think 20 Dialogue”.
Germany assumed the G20 Presidency on December 1, 2016. T20 Task Forces were established to prepare Policy Briefs for the ongoing dialogue with G20 decision makers and other relevant stakeholders.
This briefing was originally presented at the T20 Summit 2017.