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Addressing Marine Plastics: A Roadmap to a Circular Economy

15 May 2020

The attention on marine plastics has been intensifying in recent years among national governments and the global community. It remains a challenge to define an effective strategy to address marine plastics in a systemic way, because of the complexity of the plastics value chain, numerous types of polymers and plastics applications, diverse pathways and fates of various plastics, and unquantified magnitudes of impacts on environment including marine ecosystems.


This document provides an action-oriented strategy by identifying a core set of priority solutions to be implemented by targeted stakeholders from the whole plastics value chain under different time horizons, and at different geographical scales. It aims to reduce the leakage of plastics into the (marine) environment as well as its associated impacts, and improve the circularity of the plastics value chain. The recommendations proposed in the Roadmap aim to reduce the adverse environmental, ecological, and socio-economic impacts from marine plastics, while transforming the linear “take-makedispose” economy into a circular economy. Together, these actions support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 on Responsible Consumption and Production, and SDG Target 14.1, which aims to significantly reduce marine pollution, including marine debris, by 2025.

Status: Completed

Type: Monograph

Year of publication: 2020

Publisher: UN Environment Programme

Tags: marine litter

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