Keynote Presentation of the 3RINCs 2022

Regional Conference on the OECD Global Plastics Outlook

Monday 14 March 2022, 15:00-16:00 (JST)

There is an incomprehensible amount of plastic in our society, driven by population growth and higher incomes. Estimates put the global plastics production to have doubled between 2000 and 2019, coming up to 460 million tonnes (Mt) in 2019.  While annual plastics production and waste generation continue to increase, the current use of plastics is far from being circular. The current linear model of mass plastics production, consumption and disposal is unsustainable – it requires policies and actions driven by secondary plastics markets, innovation and international co-operation that can contribute to systemic change. 

On the occasion of the 8th 3R International Scientific Conference on Material Cycles and Waste Management, the OECD will present its recently released Global Plastics Outlook: Economic drivers, environmental impacts and policy options for audience in the Southeast Asia and Japan. The report is supported by a new OECD database, which provides a consistent and comprehensive view on production, trade, plastics use, waste management and leakage to environment in different global regions from 1950 to 2019. In-depth understanding of the current challenges is essential to implement future policies and actions. 

The conference will also provide an opportunity to quantify and map environmentally relevant plastics innovation over time and across countries for the first time, with an emphasis on plastic prevention and recycling. While innovation in environmentally relevant plastics technologies has steadily increased, the circular plastics innovation only represented 1.2% of total innovation on plastics in 2017. More ambitious policies are needed to direct technological change towards closing plastics loops and reducing leakage to the environment.

There is a momentum towards the global treaty to tackle plastic pollution – a legally binding agreement obliging countries to eliminate plastic pollution leakage especially into oceans through national targets and plans for plastic reduction, recycling and management. A mandate for negotiations was formally adopted during the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi on 28 February to 2 March. In this contest, the regional event will be valuable to take stock of the current state of play.

Our discussions will also contribute to informing the OECD future work on plastics outlook in the ASEAN region. 

Presentation Materials

Moderator: Dr. Yasuhiko Hotta, Programme Director, Sustainable Consumption and Production, IGES

15:00-15:07 Opening remarks: Circular Economy
  Yoshiki Takeuchi, Deputy Secretary-General, OECD  
Prof. Toshiaki Yoshioka, President of Japan Society of Material Cycles and Waste Management  
15:07-15:27 Presentation of the OECD Global Plastics Outlook: Economic drivers, environmental impacts and policy options
  Dr. Shardul Agrawala, Head of the Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD  
15:27-15:57 Panel Discussion Dr. Shardul Agrawala, Head of the Environment and Economy Integration Division, OECD  
Dr. Vong Sok, Head of Environment Division, Assistant Director of Sustainable Development Director, The ASEAN Secretariat  
Eric Kawabata, Asia Pacific General Manager, TerraCycle and Loop  
TBC - Nikkei Asia  
15:57-16:00 Closing comments
  Michikazu Kojima, Research Fellow, ERIA  
Naoko Kawaguchi, Acting Head, OECD Tokyo Centre