Discussion Paper

No. 2018-3 | January 10, 2018
Circular economy measures to keep plastics and their value in the economy, avoid waste and reduce marine litter
(Submitted as Global Solutions Paper)

Abstract

We live in the plastic age (the “plasticene”), producing over 300 million tonnes (mt) of plastic every year globally, 5–15 mt of which flow into already polluted oceans. Plastic remains a key material in the global economy, but low rates of collection, reuse and recycling, emissions of microplastic from product wear and tear, and often insufficient disposal measures are leading to far-reaching environmental, health, social and economic impacts. The costs of inaction are unacceptably high. Globally there is a growing recognition of the need to address marine litter and rethink our approach to plastics and plastic packaging within the economy. Measures that enable a transition to a circular economy can avoid waste and reduce marine litter, and contribute to keeping plastics and their value in the economy.

JEL Classification:

E23, F53, Q01, Q20, Q52, Q53, Q57, L65

Assessment

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Links

Cite As

Patrick ten Brink, Jean-Pierre Schweitzer, Emma Watkins, Charlotte Janssens, Michiel De Smet, Heather Leslie, and François Galgani (2018). Circular economy measures to keep plastics and their value in the economy, avoid waste and reduce marine litter. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2018-3, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2018-3


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