Designing a legally binding global plastic convention

Plastic pollution problem: Sea Turtle eats plastic bottle

Marine plastic pollution is a quickly growing problem and it is not yet possible to estimate how severe the impacts are. In 2017, 335 million metric tons of plastic have been produced, and this number is projected to increase almost fourfold to 1,100 metric tons by 2050. Plastic pollution of the world's oceans is thus a quickly growing environmental problem. A number of international instruments and treaties are trying to address the problem, but the growing amount of plastic waste that is polluting our seas shows these are insufficient. On behalf of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Germany, adelphi is conducting a study together with the Ecologic institute to assess gaps in global plastic governance, and propose options for the design of a new international convention with the goal to eliminate further plastic pollution of the oceans. 

On behalf of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Germany and Norway, adelphi and the Ecologic Institute analysed gaps in global plastic governance and developed options for a new international agreement to ban plastic waste. The study offered new ideas for ongoing discussions within the United Nations Environment Programme and at the UN Environment Assembly, which convened an ad hoc open-ended expert group on marine litter and microplastics. In their study, the authors identified the problems and challenges of existing agreements and frameworks, and outlined key elements for a future, legally binding agreement to combat and eliminate marine plastic pollution.

Publications of this project