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To keep plastics out of ocean we must shift to circular economy

The Jakarta Post

We are drowning in plastic. Unless we change our behavior, there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the ocean by 2050. Solving this crisis requires us to do more than just banning plastic straws.

We need a paradigm shift. We must adopt deep structural changes to our plastic production and consumption patterns in order to move away from the extractive linear model of “take, make, use and dispose” toward a “closed-loop” circular economy — an economy that is intentionally restorative.

Over the past year, governments in Southeast Asia have been in the hot seat over plastic pollution. Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are some of the world’s top plastic polluters. Together with China, they account for up to 60 percent of the plastic waste leaking into our oceans.

An AVPN joint report with ECCA Family Trust — released recently — identified the main challenges as a lack of infrastructure and financing, poor public awareness, poor execution of recycling policies, illegal dumping, as well as unplanned industrial development.

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