Thought Leadership - Plastics - International Chapter

Godwin Chukwukelu

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


The surge in plastic production over the past decades creates key environmental challenges that continue to receive increasing interest in research and policy. This increased interest is emphasised with the consideration of the fact that significant proportions of plastics produced since the 1950s still exist in landfills and marine environment due to difficulties involved with disposing and recycling waste plastics. In the literature, many policy and technical documents increasingly provide awareness on the issues of waste plastics disposal and recycling, and the implication of existing measures for climate change and the natural environment. Such awareness has led to a rise in national government policies such as the Chinese “National Sword” policy that has significantly impacted the transnational trade flows of plastic waste. The challenges brought about by ongoing changes in the international trade flows of plastic waste – in the context of existing international environmental regulations and programs – have seldom been researched. Hence, this chapter explores the international dimension of waste plastics to highlight key trends and challenges to global waste plastics disposal, recycling and trade flows. It further discusses recycling policies and standards, the global distribution of recycling capacity and various (plastics) pact initiatives focusing on the challenges of waste plastics disposals and recycling. The writing of this chapter was funded by HEIF to contribute to ongoing research and policy efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2020


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