How Asia can beat its plastics addiction and fight climate change

South China Morning Post by Rob Kaplan


24 February 2021 — For many, 2020 was a year postponed. While we were focused on coping with the Covid-19 virus , we lost ground on other critical issues, including plastic pollution and climate change. The waste-management and recycling value chain in South and Southeast Asia has ground to a halt while the use of single-use virgin plastics has soared. The situation is untenable for the long run and the environmental impact is sobering.


As we inch closer to the promise of mass vaccination and kick off 2021 in the Year of the Ox, it is time to adjust our perspective: these crises present incredible prospects for economic recovery and growth. We now have the chance to take a step back and hit the reset button, revisit basic assumptions and assess whether our current approach can address the problem.


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