New global policy centre launched during COP26 to tackle the world’s plastic pollution problem
The University of Portsmouth will launch its Global Plastics Policy Centre at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow today - 4th November, to help find sustainable solutions to tackle plastic pollution around the world.
Designed to give governments and industry groups the evidence needed to make better decisions around plastic policies, University researchers believe this unique resource will ultimately help reduce the negative impacts of plastics. The Global Plastics Policy Centre is the latest significant development from the Revolutions Plastics initiative, which is putting the University of Portsmouth at the forefront of the plastics debate.
The Centre will bring an evidence-based approach to plastic policy-making. A framework has been developed to assess individual policies that are scored against criteria and backed up by evidence. This Centre is the first of its kind and the team believe that it will generate real change.
Action needs to be taken at the planning stage of plastic policy
Professor Steve Fletcher, Director of Revolution Plastics at the University of Portsmouth, said: “We know that plastic pollution is exacerbating the climate crisis and reducing the resilience of communities and the natural world to cope with the effects of climate change. Half of all plastic becomes waste within a year of being made and the vast majority isn’t recycled. 11 million metric tons of plastic ends up in our oceans every year, a shocking figure which is estimated to triple to near 29 million metric tons by 2040, if nothing is done. Action needs to be taken at the planning stage of plastic policy.”
Initially over 100 global plastic policies will be assessed to create what Professor Fletcher describes as “a one-stop shop of good advice around plastic policy.” Explaining the evolution of the GPPC, he said: “Through working on plastic policy projects for the G20, it became very obvious, very quickly, that there was no source of independent evidence-based advice on plastics policy. This is a problem. There is a real need for this type of advice. It seemed only logical to provide a much-needed service that independently evaluates plastic policy, and other interventions, designed to reduce the negative aspects of plastic. This crucial evidence will now be shared freely to the world.”
We know that plastic pollution is exacerbating the climate crisis and reducing the resilience of communities and the natural world to cope with the effects of climate change.
Once the policies have been assessed, the Global Plastics Policy Centre will set up an online platform, with resources, case studies and videos. It will be used to host online events and workshops to showcase the excellence found in global plastic policy.
Announced at the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow on 4 November, the Global Plastics Policy Centre is unashamedly global in its remit. Focused on positive change, it will analyse and share plastic policies as they are developed around the world. Each will be categorised in specific terms, for example, bans on single use plastics, incentives such as subsides/tax rebates, regulations on recycling and waste management. Users will be able to search under classifications such as region or policy type.
The Global Plastics Policy Centre’s online platform will be ready for use in Spring 2022.