Review of Plastic Footprint Methodologies

Year of Publication

2019

This report provides a review of 19 existing and emerging methodologies as of early 2019 that identify the abundance, distribution, types, sources, pathways and sinks of plastic pollution at different scales.

Source:

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Author(s):

Julien Boucher

Carole Dubois, Anna Kounina, Philippe Puydarrieux

Geography:

Global

Type:

Measurement (Company/Product/Project), Measurement (System/Market/Tool)

Purpose of Measurement:

Understanding the Problem

Impact theme(s):

Material Flows, Oceans, Climate

This report provides a review of 19 existing and emerging methodologies as of early 2019 that identify the abundance, distribution, types, sources, pathways and sinks of plastic pollution at different scales. It also provides an overview of the state of knowledge for impact assessment and monetary valuation methodologies, along with a glossary of key terms related to plastics, marine plastics, and environmental footprints. This publication highlights gaps in current methodologies including assessing impacts in a comprehensive manner that allows for measurement of trade-offs between different impacts. This report's conclusions lay a solid foundation for the development of a standardized and replicable plastic environmental footprint measurement tool and a standard set of indicators that highlight the costs of inaction.

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