Evaluating Scenarios Toward Zero Plastic Pollution

Year of Publication

2020

This research article presents the modeling of the stocks and flows of municipal solid waste along with four sources of microplastics through the global plastic system.

Source:

Science

Author(s):

Winnie W. Y. Lau, Yonathan Shiran, Richard M. Bailey, Ed Cook, Martin R. Stuchtey, Julia Koskella Costas A. Velis, Linda Godfrey, Julien Boucher, Margaret B. Murphy, Richard C. Thompson, Emilia Jankowska, Arturo Castillo Castillo, Toby D. Pilditch, Ben Dixon, Laura Koerselman, Edward Kosior, Enzo Favoino, Jutta Gutberlet, Sarah Baulch, Meera E. Atreya, David Fischer, Kevin K. He, Milan M. Petit, U. Rashid Sumaila, Emily Neil, Mark V. Bernhofen, Keith Lawrence

James E. Palardy

Geography:

Global

Type:

Primary Data, Strategy

Purpose of Measurement:

Understanding the Problem, Solution Sets and Impact Potential

Impact theme(s):

Material Flows, Oceans

This research article presents the modeling of the stocks and flows of municipal solid waste along with four sources of microplastics through the global plastic system. The modeling covers five scenarios between 2016 and 2040. The modeled interventions for reducing plastic pollution achieve a 78% reduction relative to business as usual in 2040. The article concludes with a call to action for coordinated global action to reduce plastic consumption, increase rates of reuse, waste collection and recycling, expand safe disposal systems, and accelerate innovation in the plastic value chain.

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