Launch of the report “Policy Options to Eliminate Additional Marine Plastic Litter”

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The think piece “Policy Options to Eliminate Additional Marine Plastic Litter” was released on July 13 and provides a detailed overview regarding the levels of introduction of marine litter into the ocean according to various scenarios, as well as suggestions on how to reduce the production of this waste. This tool was developed by the International Resource Panel (IRP) of the United Nations Environment Programme and contains contributions from Sciaena’s team.

This document was produced with the aim of providing suggestions to reduce the abundance of plastic marine litter in the ocean under the Osaka Blue Ocean Vision, a G20 initiative to take concrete actions that progressively reduce the entry of plastics into the sea, with the objective of zero introduction of plastics in the ocean by 2050.

The annual discharge of plastics into the ocean is estimated at 11 million tons, and this figure will almost triple by 2040 if we keep business as usual. According to the commitments already made by world governments and the industrial sector, the reduction in the introduction of plastics into the ocean will be only 7%, far from what is necessary considering the urgency in preserving biodiversity and habitats affected by marine litter. This is due to the content of existing and planned policies, which focus on taxing the use of plastic items individually to the detriment of a systemic change in the current economy based on the use of plastic.

This report demonstrates that the current landscape will not create the change needed to eliminate the entry of plastics into the ocean. However, a combination of actions using current technology and innovative approaches could reduce the entry of plastics into the oceans by 82% in 2040 compared to the value associated with “business as usual”.

Sciaena is making efforts with partner entities to boost the implementation of a deposit return scheme in Portugal that covers as many types of packaging as possible, which will reduce the need for new raw materials and increase recycling rates. You can learn more about this initiative here.

The report is available on the IRP website and you can access the factsheet here.

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