“Of 7.8 billion ton of plastic produced globally since 1950, 6.3 billion ton has become waste, of which only 9 % has been recycled and 79% has been littered to the environment including ocean. (Geyer et al. 2017)”
“In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain 1 ton of plastic for every 3 tons of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight). (The World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2016)”
Plastic is a very useful and convenient material that is why plastic has become an important part of the global economy. Plastic production has surged over the past 50 years, from 15 million tons in 1964 to 359 million tons in 2018, and is expected to double again over the next 20 years. However, plastic causes negative impact on the environment particularly on marine habitats in South East Asia, a region which is known as one of the leading sources of land-based plastic waste that leaks into the ocean.
In response to this challenge, IGES/CCET implements a new project “Closing the Loop: Scaling up Innovation to Tackle Marine Plastic Pollution in ASEAN cities” in partnership with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Government of Japan. This project aims to reduce the environmental impact of the selected four cities in Viet Nam (Da Nang), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Indonesia (Surabaya), and Thailand (Nakhon Si Thammarat) by addressing plastic waste pollution and leakages into the marine environment.
The project has two broad objectives:
- To develop an innovative digital tool together with the baseline assessment related to waste quantity and composition, and waste management capacity to help local governments monitor and visualize plastic waste leakages and to map waste generation hot spots with a view to directing targeted actions to improve their management; and
- To apply the digital tool in the cities (across a coastal basin or watershed area) to develop targeted action plans, policies, and investment strategies to address plastic waste leakages