On June 5, 2018, on the occasion of World Environment Day, the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) released a new report entitled “Single-use plastics: A roadmap for sustainability.” The report reviews the current state of plastic pollution, provides a comprehensive global assessment of government measures against plastic pollution, presents case studies on government interventions such as single-use bans or levies, and outlines a ten-step roadmap for policymakers.
The report’s key findings include that “government levies and bans – where properly planned and enforced – have been among the most effective strategies to limit overuse of disposable plastic products.” The report further calls for “broader cooperation from business and private sector stakeholders” and offers “a roadmap for upstream solutions, including extended producer responsibility and incentives for adoption of a more circular economy approach to plastic production and consumption.”
“The assessment shows that action can be painless and profitable – with huge gains for people and the planet that help avert the costly downstream costs of pollution,” Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, stated. “Plastic isn’t the problem. It’s what we do with it,” he pointed out.
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UN Environment (2018). “Single-use plastics: A roadmap for sustainability.” (pdf)