What products?
What products?
What sectors?
What sectors?

What

The problem is not plastic itself but the way we use and manage it all along its life cycle


Plastic is a synthetic organic polymer made from petroleum that provides many benefits to society. It is cheap, lightweight, strong and malleable which makes it a very useful material for a wide variety of applications, including packaging, building and construction, household and sports equipment, vehicles, electronics and agriculture. Plastic has become ubiquitous in our daily life.

Once released into our oceans, plastic does not biodegrade. It simply fragments into small particles, named microplastics (particle smaller than 5mm) or nanoplastics (particles smaller than 1 mm) under the influence of natural factors such as UV radiation, wind and currents. Plastic pollution is the most widespread problem affecting the marine environment. Plastic pollution is a global economic and health issue that contributes to climate change and threatens ocean health, food safety, food quality, human health and coastal tourism.

Download PDF: IUCN Issues Brief on Marine Plastics

Ad Hoc Open-Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics working documents

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