OECD Report: Towards Eliminating Plastic Pollution by 2040

A Policy Scenario Analysis

The OECD has just released the findings of a new interim report, Towards Eliminating Plastic Pollution by 2040: A Policy Scenario Analysis which may be of interest. The report lays out the policy actions governments need to put in place to substantially further curb plastic pollution to minimise environmental impacts by 2040. In 2022, 21 million tonnes (Mt) of plastics leaked to the environment globally.

Despite increasing urgency to lower plastic pollution, current policies to stem plastic flows have proven to be insufficient. Therefore, the report presents four policy scenarios to tackle current challenges to reduce plastic pollution: The most wide-ranging policy scenario identifies a package of actions tackling the full lifecycle of plastics that could nearly eliminate plastic pollution by 2040, eliminating 115 Mt in mismanaged waste by 2040 (more than 95% of the current total waste). This scenario requires increased investments, international co-operation and support for less advanced economies in their transition to a plastic pollution free environment. Improved waste management systems alone would require an additional 1 trillion USD in investments over a 20-year period in non-OECD countries.  The more moderate scenarios show that lower levels of ambition and international co-ordination on plastic pollution would allow plastics to continue to leak into the environment beyond 2040.

The OECD releases its preliminary findings of its analysis on plastics ahead of the third round of negotiations (13 – 19 November) for an international binding agreement on plastic pollution, providing important preliminary findings on the benefits of thorough actions as well as on the costs of delayed or limited action. The report provides a clear roadmap for governments and policy makers to tackle the full lifecycle of plastics by curbing plastics production and demand; increasing the circularity of plastics; closing leakage pathways; and bolstering recycling rates.

Source: OECD




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