Enabling concerted multilateral action on plastic pollution and plastics substitutes

Turning the tide on plastic pollution requires multiple parallel and inclusive responses within the United Nations and the multilateral trading system to succeed. Improvements in trade and domestic governance, including to promote plastic substitutes, alternatives and increased material recovery and recycling capacities, can be a sound course of action for developing countries.

This paper seeks to briefly identify the current plastic pollution challenge and the role of trade, explore options for devising a more coherent and concerted governance action within the United Nations and the multilateral trading system and to share findings on what the potential of plastics substitutes to reduce plastic pollution and enabling local sustainable manufacturing development in selected developing countries.

The paper concludes that useful, adaptable, and flexible policies are at hand to contribute to mitigate the plastic pollution globally but also in developing countries by making use of oceans and circular economy principles.