Plastic pollution and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

Hermit Crabs rummaging through remains of food waste disposed in a plastic bag on a beach on Ha.Thuraakunu (November 2020)

In February 2022, the member states of the United Nations agreed in Nairobi to negotiate a global agreement to reduce plastic pollution. Given the global scale of this pollution and its significant environmental, social and economic consequences, such an agreement had been called for years by a wide range of different stakeholders. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have so far been neglected in related debates.

Against this backdrop, adelphi elaborated a study in which it analyses the challenges, needs and opportunities of SIDS in the context of a global agreement on plastic pollution. The study first summarises the extent, origin, causes and impacts of plastic pollution. It then provides an overview of existing policies and regulations to address plastic pollution in SIDS. Based on this, the study identifies the challenges of SIDS in combating plastic pollution. From these challenges the study derives key needs of SIDS that a global agreement should ideally address to help them overcome their challenges. Finally, the study discusses options for how SIDS can effectively represent their interests in the upcoming negotiations.

Publications of this project