10 Sep 2018 Story Oceans & seas

Sweden and UN Environment announce $6 million project to beat plastic pollution in Southeast Asia

Bangkok, 10 September 2018 –Sweden, UN Environment and the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) today announced efforts to combat marine litter and plastic pollution in Southeast Asia over the coming four years, through a project that aims to ensure that less plastic leaks through waste management systems.

The project, funded by the Sweden International Development Agency (Sida) and implemented by UN Environment and COBSEA, will involve stakeholders throughout the plastic value chain, from the plastic producers to the waste managers to those in coastal communities suffering most the impacts of plastic pollution.

Several countries in Southeast Asia are major plastic producers, and generate substantial amounts of the types of plastic that ends up as marine litter. Inexpensive plastic packaging is also easily available in the region, and the “take away” street food culture prominent in some countries, such as Thailand, contributes to widespread use of single-use plastics. At the same time, waste management capacity is limited in the region and the proportion of plastic waste mismanaged is over 75% in most Southeast Asian countries.