Policy responses to plastic pollution in Asia: summary of a regional gap analysis

Plastic Waste and Recycling Environmental Impact, Societal Issues, Prevention, and Solutions所収
Chapter: 21

Eight of the world's top 20 countries as sources of marine debris are from Asia—China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, and India (Jambeck et al., 2015). In other words, the Asia-Pacific region is now recognized as a hotspot of plastic pollution of the oceans. These countries are facing typical challenges associated with poor waste management; in the midst of that, they are developing policies in response to the growing plastic issues. This chapter reviews common challenges faced by developing countries in Asia in terms of plastics management. It identifies four areas where gaps in management typically occur: information and knowledge; policy and governance; technical capacity; and markets and finance. It then provides brief updates on current and emerging policy responses of six countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, as well as of two countries from East Asia: Japan and the Republic of Korea. An analysis of the policy situation in these countries finds a strong focus on the downstream part of the plastics life cycle (recycling and waste management) with few attempts to promote upstream changes in product design, business practices, and consumption patterns. After introducing recent international policy responses at the regional level, the chapter concludes by providing a set of suggestions on how to address the four issue areas mentioned above and to facilitate a transition to a circular economy for plastics.